While visiting the north Indian slums of Patiala, to minister to the impoverished garbage pickers who live there, one day Mrs. Sulochana Singh saw something that broke her heart: a small baby girl lying on a cot with thousands of bees swarming over her nearly lifeless, skeletal body.
That baby was malnourished to the point of death, infected by many oozing bedsores. Sulochana watched as the child struggled to breathe.
Sulochana had compassion on the child and wanted to do something for her. At the same time, she recognized that it wasn’t her business, and worried about whether to interfere.
In that moment, Sulochana says, “I heard a soft voice inside me saying, ‘What would you have done if she was your own baby?’ That voice touched me and I told my husband about the voice and got his consent to help the child.”
Sulochana and her husband, Pastor Akash Singh, found the baby’s parents and talked with them to find out why the baby had been left out on the cot like this. They learned the child had been so ill that doctors had given up hope for her, telling the parents that she would die. So the parents, not knowing what else they could do, had left the baby on the cot to die and prepared a grave for her.
But Sulochana was persistent and asked if she and her husband could try to treat the baby in a government hospital. The father agreed. He went with Sulochana and Akash to take the baby to the children’s ward of the government hospital. There they met with more disappointment. A doctor told them that because the baby was about to die, they couldn’t admit her for any treatment.
Sulochana told the doctor that she and Akash run a charitable organization called Grace Seva Smitee (Grace Service Committee) and it was through that organization they had come on behalf of the child. They pled with him to admit her to the hospital.
The doctor’s attitude changed. He decided to take a chance on the little girl. He called his team and started treatment. With some oxygen, she immediately began to improve.
Then, unexpectedly, the baby suddenly stopped breathing. The staff said she had probably died. Unwilling to give up, Sulochana and Akash went outside her room, knelt down and interceded to the Lord for the baby’s life. Even before they finished their prayer with “Amen,” someone came out and told them the baby had begun breathing again. They rushed back into the room where doctors said they were going to run some tests and that they were optimistic for the baby’s life.
After all the tests, the baby was treated for 25 days. Sulochana and Akash were at her side day and night, doing everything they could, along with praying continually for her. During the day, Akash stayed with the baby, and Sulochana stayed overnight.
“On the third day of the treatment the baby opened her eyes and looked at me and smiled,” Sulochana recalled. “I went close to her, and in spite of having no strength in her hands, she still hugged me very tight and I told her, ‘Jesus loves you.’ The baby was almost a skeleton, and when she hugged me I could feel her bones. All her body pus got stuck to my dress. At that moment I felt that the Lord has given this baby to me. I praised God for a new life to the baby.”
After the little girl’s recovery, Sulochana talked with her husband and also with the father about the child’s future. If the parents were unable to care for her, would they be willing for Sulochana and Akash to raise her?
“We had already dug a grave for her in front of our house and had left the baby on the cot to die,” the father replied. “She was not eating anything and there was no hope for her. But you came in that time and the Lord has saved the baby through you. If we take the baby back, she would not survive. We have already decided to give the baby to you. You keep her.”
Sulochana and Akash were overjoyed with this blessing. Doctors and the medical team instructed them how to take good care of the girl.
Slowly, the child’s health improved. She ate and digested well. Very soon, the girl became very healthy, putting on weight. They gave her a new name.*
Over the next four years, she started learning words, and began calling the pastor and his wife “Mom” and “Dad.” She attended church with them where she learned about God, and singing small songs.
Sulochana says, “We had two sons (Enosh, 18 and Phillip, 17) and now the Lord had blessed us with a daughter.”
Now that baby is four years old. Sulochana and Akash say, “We love the baby very much. We want to see this baby becoming very educated and do great work for the Lord.”
*Name omitted for privacy