The Miracle of Moses Johah

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A number of years ago I had the opportunity to go on a Medical Mission trip to the Country of Haiti. It was a trip I had always thought of taking but never actively pursued. I was finally coaxed into taking the big step and, as they say, “the rest is history.”
I soon found myself boarding a plane bound for Haiti. I had heard that the people of Haiti experienced some of the worst poverty in the world. Well, there was no way I could have prepared myself for the culture shock I would experience there.
Being a hospital nurse made it very difficult to live without the convinces we are used to in the U.S. In most places we didn’t have running water so the usual restroom and bathing facilities were nonexistent. Our only source for these type of amenities was a river. Bathing was a real challenge as the rocks in the river bottom were very slippery and as a non swimmer it was a little scary. Washing your hair was nearly out of the question!
I will never get used to the dust and dirt I saw in this country. The sight of naked, thin children with their ribs showing through their skin will always be with me. Many children had red, dry hair due to malnutrition. Their little eyes stared at me wherever I went. Filth and poverty was everywhere. I realized that we are very blessed to be living in the U.S.
One day I was sitting, thinking to myself and trying to make some sense out of what I was experiencing, when two young Haitian women came running up to me. They practically threw an object that looked to be a bunch of dirty rags into my arms. I opened the rags to find a new born baby boy. His body was covered with sand. Even his ears and nose were filled with sand. The umbilical cord was still attached. I ran into the compound area and located the doctor and urgently told him of my find. The Doctor quickly clamped the umbilical cord and we began to clean the little guy up. The Haitian girls told us that the found the baby on the beach. Apparently, not wanting the child, his mother had thrown him into the sea. This is not an uncommon act in Haiti. The waves most probably washed him back onto the beach. The girls said a hog was approaching the baby with, who knows what, on his mind? The baby appeared to be dead when we first saw him but we still worked and cleaned and prayed. It wasn’t until a nurse literally put his head in water that he began to respond and cry. So,…we cried too! I think louder and harder than the baby.
A young Haitian mother was watching us from a window. She was nursing her own little one. We asked her to come and see if the baby would nurse from her breast. The baby began to “nibble” away until he realized he was supposed to suck, then he started to nurse. We all shared with great joy watching this new life get his start.
We thought that we should give him a name. We thought of “Moses” after Moses in the Bible being put in the river, or after Jonah being spit up onto the shore. We later decided his name should be “Moses Jonah.” That was certainly appropriate. He was a sweet, handsome little boy. We dressed him and cuddled him. Then, all of a sudden, it came to us. What will we do with Moses Jonah? “Who wants Moses?” This little miracle child is going to need someone to look after him and love him! After much discussion it was decided that we would ask the two Haitian girls who found him if they would be willing to take care of him. After all, “finders keepers.” They accepted.
I kept in contact with some of my friends in Haiti about Moses. Always wondering how he was progressing and growing. Only to find out one day that he had died of dysentery when he was only 18 months old. I spent many sleepless nights asking “Why? Why would God spare little Moses only to take him at such a young age?” I came to the realization that I was not to question what happened. The reality is that Moses was a miracle. Most of us never notice the miracles that are happening every day, but having been a part of the life of “Moses” only makes me more confident that miracles do happen.


Janet Lovell, RN, ET, CWS

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