The God of Twins
“The father says he is a Christian and will not take his boys to the village for spiritual ceremonies. He will pay for his decision. He will certainly take the dead body of his boy out of this hospital,” a visitor said after leaving the hospital room where our church elder and his wife were staying with their 10-month-old twin boys, one of them being seriously ill.
In the Otammari culture, the subject of twins is delicate and complicated. This culture believes twins are a special gift, each having a spirit stronger than those of others. Therefore, special ceremonies are required to thank the ancestors, lest something happens to the twins and at least one dies.
The Sabbath before the comment made in the hospital, Toussaint thought one of the twins looked rather lethargic. Since the parents did not have any money to take the boy to the hospital, they did their best to treat him at home with herbal teas, as most people here do. Some of these plants are indeed quite effective if applied well, but most of the time, it is unclear what kind of sickness the person has. So treatment is usually a hit or miss, and all kinds of teas are administered, hoping that one would actually work. In this case, it didn’t.
A few days later, the infant had a life-threatening seizure, and his dad rushed him to the hospital with the little money he had. Thankfully, they were admitted, but the money did not last very long, so he came to our house to ask if we could help. Toussaint went with him back to the hospital, where he is well known for his hospital ministry, and assured the staff that we would cover the costs.
For the next two weeks, the doctors struggled to save the boy’s life. Most of the time, the child needed oxygen to help him breathe. He received IVs until the medical staff could not find a vein anymore. The parents prayed. The church prayed. Our team prayed. Some church and family members stopped visiting since they could not handle watching the little boy fighting for his life. Other visitors made comments like the one above, overheard by a cleaning lady.
Every morning and evening, Toussaint paid the bills and ensured they had all they needed. While there, he also went room by room to pray for the sick and bring smiles to the children’s faces by handing out cookies. At some point, our church elder said, “My child needed to get sick, so I would see what you actually do here.”
After two weeks in the hospital, the boy was off oxygen, and we could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Three days later, he was released and is now continuing the treatment at home. Once again, our God proved himself faithful and stronger than any evil forces who had tried to take this little child’s life. I hope whoever made that comment later learned that the boy and his twin brother both went home alive since the God they were dedicated to as babies delivered them.