Mala comes from a very poor family. Her husband is a shepherd and has to support not only his own family but also Mala’s mother-in-law and younger brother-in-law who stay in the same home with them.
Mala was pregnant, and regularly attended one of our health and hygiene programs for village women. In the final month of her pregnancy I visited Mala at her home and found her lying on a cot in excruciating pain. She told me that she was experiencing labor pains and that it had been two days since she felt the baby move. I immediately made arrangements for her to be taken to a nearby hospital where the ultrasound indicated there was very little fluid in her womb. The doctor strongly advised her to have a c-section immediately. However Mala’s family members, being illiterate villagers, were unwilling. They felt that Mala should have the baby the traditional way, naturally at home, and also didn’t want to face the cost of a c-section. They were unwilling to accept the seriousness of the situation.
So her family members took her home. I warned her husband that if Mala was not admitted to the hospital the next morning, it would almost be impossible to save both her and the baby’s life. Upon hearing this, the family members became very angry with us and started quarreling and shouting. Amidst these circumstances, we did not lose hope and continued to persuade Mala’s family to get her admitted into the hospital.
The next morning we managed to persuade Mala’s husband to allow her to go for the c-section. In the background, we could hear the villagers and other family members talking ill of us.
We reached the hospital where doctors immediately took Mala inside the operation room. While we waited outside, our team was praying for God to perform a miracle. After a few hours, God answered our untied prayer by granting Mala the grace to become a happy mother of a healthy baby boy. Our joy knew no bounds when we got news from the doctor that both Mala and the baby were doing well.
Mala with her newly born baby at the hospital
The plight of Mala is indicative of many village women, who due to illiteracy and cultural traditions suffer and even die needlessly. Pray for us as we continue to bring the liberating, empowering message of the Gospel, along with health and hygiene education, to these remote villages.
Today, Mala’s family is very happy and grateful to the whole team for taking courage and effort to work hard to save both her and her baby’s life.
We praise God for His abundant mercy and grace showered upon Mala and her family!
~ Ankita Massey, Project Coordinator