Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Have you ever read that saying, "God can't be everywhere so he created mothers."? The first time I read that, I thought how cute. But as the years pass and my understanding deepens all the saying does is make me mad. What? God can't be everywhere? What lies. He is everywhere! He is everything! I started thinking about this today after I read Orphan Rescue Blog. It was about how women if they're lucky give birth in Uganda.

The woman (who is a native and works for my friend) went into labor and had already planned on having the baby at the main government hospital in Kampala. They gathered her "bag"( a piece of plastic, razor blade, rubber gloves and blanket for baby) and raced off to the hospital with my friend in her car.
Upon entering the maternity ward they were greeted with 40 women laying on the floor in all different stages on labor. On the ward was 1 male nurse not trained in midwifery. If the women make any noise in labor they are told to be quiet. Some have moms or friends with them, others are alone.
My friend was helping her lady waiting for a doctor or midwife to come and the lady laying on the floor beside her started screaming and she could see the head coming out. So right there the baby was born, premature barely breathing. Most babies in Uganda are born premature and no hospital private or public has the equiptment to save them. They either struggle to survive or they die. This baby was taken away from the mom and returned a few minutes later dead. No comforting, just brought back and handed to her and told it was dead. She then had to get herself up cleaned off and leave to make room on the floor for the next woman. Whatever spilled off of the plastic,(blood, afterbirth, water) left on the floor and the next woman and piece of plastic laid down.
In the meantime my friends lady had started crowning and still no doctor or midwife. The head came out with the cord wrapped around the neck. She had no idea what to do and yelled at the nurse to help. He stayed where he was and told her what to do from a distance. She eventually delivered a healthy baby girl. She was told to take her gloves off and take the razor blade and cut the cuffs off and use the pieces of rubber to tie off the cord. She cut the gloves and placed them on the cord and then proceeded to cut the cord with the razor blade. That done and the placenta delivered the mom had to get up, pick up her things and move to the hall where she spent the night, again on the floor till morning when she had to leave.
This is the best public hospital in Kampala. No beds, very little staff, no food, no blankets, pillows or supplies for the mom or baby. Forget medication too.
The ladies in the village have it a bit different. They lay banana leaves on the ground and deliver the baby outside on them. They don't have gloves and most of the time no razor blade, so they either use sharp stones or bite through the cord to get it off. No doctor there to sew them up if they tear either. Then after all that they are expected to get up and go back to work.

I then started thinking about the lyrics to Down to the River to Pray
O mothers let's go down
Come on down, don't you wanna go down?
Come on mothers, let's go down
Down in the river to pray

As I went down in the river to pray
Studding about that good ol' way
And who shall wear the starry crown?
Good Lord show me the way

I wonder did they have anyone there praying for them? Did anyone show them where the river was?
Where was God? Was He there when the mother found out her baby was dead? Is He there when a young mother dies during birth? Was He there when they both die?

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
—Matthew 10:29-31

He WAS there! Where were we? I can't help but be filled w/ compassion and feel moved to do something, anything.

Lord thank you for opening my eyes, thank you for disturbing my soul.


Fantastic Four said...

SOBERING! Thanks for opening my eyes! It is so hard to believe that a whole other world exists out there!

Lyndsay said...

I read that sane quote on a church sign down the street from my house. I was so angry! What do they mean God is not everywhere?! I am rendered speechless. You're question is correct, "where were we?" What can we do?!?!?! I pray that now God has opened our eyes to such a sad reality that He will show us what we can do about it to bring His light to His people and prove that He is, He is there. Bono addresses this idea in a speech delivered by him @ the President's National Prayer Breakfast in 2006. Hm. Guess I'm not that speechless. Thanks for posting...

Lyndsay said...

sane=same... I hate it when I have published typos!

Emily said...

Wow its amazing we all share the same planet and yet life can be so different. God blesses most of those women with more faith then many of us Americans!

Emily said...

Wow its amazing we all share the same planet and yet life can be so different. God blesses most of those women with more faith then many of us Americans!

Lisa said...

And to think we Americans complain about healthcare! What strength and courage these women have. I do believe their faith is the real deal, what else do they have?!
Where was I? A question that pierces me to the deepest part of my soul and causes me to reflect again on what I can and should be doing!
Thank you Steffany for another post that convicts and motivates me to do SOMETHING!!

Christin said...

I don't even know what to say. I,too, am moved to want to do something. but what?

...all I feel I can do at present is try to control the naucious feeling that is taking over my stomach at the thought of it.

Dear dear Jesus. Envelope those women.

Leah Dooley said...

I was just thanking God tonight that for my nausea because that's all it is. I'm not throwing up. I'm not so sick I can't eat (definitely not a problem here) and I'm not having to worry about having an underweight baby because I have no food to eat. I love when God shows me these things. I love being broken. I'm scared of the needles and these women would probably welcome them or any relief they could get!

crispy said...

Powerful disturbing story. We live in a world where ignorance is bliss. There is a whole world out there that needs help and we are so wrapped up in our suburban world to even notice.