The Astonishing Story of Miracle’s Survival

Written by on April 8, 2024

‘God sets the lonely in families…’ – Psalm 68:6a

This is a story of miraculous survival—of a baby on the verge of death, abandoned in a water drain in Uganda. Read how Miracle was rescued, restored to health by the family who found her, and adopted as their own.

Responding to a cry

It was a cold October evening when Enoch was walking with a friend and heard a cry. “We thought it was a cat at first,” Enoch says. The cry persisted—they stopped and realised the sound was coming from the waste pile at the edge of the street’s drainage ditch. “It became evident that it was a human sound: a baby’s cry.”

The two young men ran in different directions; Enoch went home to get his mother, and his friend to the nearest trading centre for help.

“We were frightened,” Enoch says. “When I saw the baby’s head popping out of the plastic bag, I knew we needed to get help at once… We didn’t stop to get the baby because we worried about what we might get accused of…”

Gladys, Enoch’s mother, came rushing back with him, and together they pulled the plastic bag out of the water. “Fortunately, the sack had been pushed to the edge of the drainage by rubbish, which blocked it from flowing down the channel.”

Gladys and Miracle by a drain

Shaking but determined, Gladys untied the bag and took out a tiny baby in a heavily soaked and soiled nappy. “She cried uncontrollably and only paused to gasp for air.” They wrapped the baby in a jacket and rushed to the nearby police station. “My heart grieved, but I needed to be strong in the moment.”

When they got to the police station, the officers referred Gladys to the family unit section—but by this time it was getting late, and Gladys was told she’d have to wait until the following morning. So, Gladys and Enoch took the baby home. “As a mother, I knew about body-to-body warmth. So, I held the baby close to my chest and wrapped a blanket around us.” Two hours later, the baby started to feel warm, and Gladys felt more confident that she’d live another day.

The following morning, Gladys went to the family unit department and asked to see the District Officer. Unfortunately, she was told she’d have to wait a week because the District Officer was in a different town. “That week, neighbours came by to see the child we’d rescued. They brought old clothing, soap and some sheets.”

Adopting a miracle

When Gladys went back to the police headquarters a week later, she was asked almost straight away whether she could foster the baby. Gladys didn’t hesitate. “I wanted nothing less than take her with me; I wasn’t going to let her be abandoned a second time.” Right then, she named her Miracle.

Glady’s husband and four other children welcomed Miracle into their family.

Compassion’s support through the local church

All Compassion’s projects run in partnership with local churches, who know their communities and are deeply committed to seeing children and families thrive by providing love and practical support. Child Survival Interventions support mothers and newborns so they can get the very best start in life.

“When Gladys first came to the Compassion project and told us Miracle’s story, I was in awe. That ditch is no place for a human being, especially a newborn,” says Sheila, a Compassion Child Development Officer. Sheila adds that the team’s first step was to make sure Miracle was given a full health-check by the project’s Paediatrician.

Miracle was diagnosed as suffering with a chest infection and stomach upsets. The Paediatrician prescribed medication for her infections, and to start her gaining weight as a priority. “The baby has needed a fair amount of treatment since. We take a record of all her doctor’s visits and track her healing process. We’re grateful to God that she’s steadily recovering,” Sheila says.

Since her registration under the Compassion Survival Programme, Compassion also supports Miracle’s nutritional needs. “The milk and healthcare we get from the project have been such a great relief to us as a family because those are two expenses we cannot afford,” says Gladys.

During the Covid-pandemic, and after Miracle came into their lives, Gladys couldn’t leave to find work because she needed such close monitoring. Instead, Compassion enrolled Gladys onto the Survival mothers’ skills programme, where she’s learning to sew and make bags.

“Our goal is to empower mothers with skills that will enable them to support their families and change their lives sustainably,” Sheila says. During these meetings, the mothers are also taught positive parenting, and gain support through making friends. Gladys has found her sewing skill improving, and she now mends clothes in the community, getting money to buy some of Miracle’s necessities, such as nappies.

After Miracle’s difficult start in life, Gladys is determined to raise her as her own. “I feel the connection with every little hand reaching out to me when she wakes up. She is my blessing from God; she has brought me much joy.”

Ways to be praying for Miracle, Gladys and Compassion’s work in Uganda

  • Give thanks to God that He is Father to the fatherless; that he sets the lonely in families and that He loves and cares for every person made in His image.
  • Give thanks for Gladys and her family, and the sacrificial love they’ve shown to Miracle by welcoming her into their lives even when they have little to go around.
  • Pray for Miracle’s birth mother, and for whatever suffering drove her to such desperate action. Pray that God would reach out to her through loving people who can provide her with what she needs to be restored in body, mind and spirit.
  • Pray Miracle would know how dearly she is loved by her Father God. Pray she will grow up feeling cherished, equipped to fulfil all her God-given potential thanks to the love of her adoptive family and the support that Compassion offers her through her local church.
  • Pray for our church partners throughout Uganda. Give thanks for the love and dedication of staff and volunteers who seek to know, love and protect the children in their care, empowering them to thrive.

We are so grateful for your prayers and for sharing our longing to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name.

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