Welcome to God Today. I am Vishal Mangalwadi from Revelation Movement. I was born in India, grew up there, studied there, and once I received Jesus as my savior and began to read the Bible, I learned that God loves the poor, the meek, the lowly. “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of God.”
My wife and I began to serve the poor in Central India in 1976. I was, then, studying Hindu gurus and writing my first book called, The World Of Gurus, which is still a textbook in many universities around the world. We were living in the countryside, we didn’t even have a table and a chair. I would sit on a stool and we put a plank into the wall on which I would handwrite my book. My wife would sit on the other side of the bed on another plank. We had a little typewriter where she would edit and type. When there wasn’t enough work for her she would pick up her bicycle, go into the village, look at what poverty was, how many children are there in every home, how many of them are going to school, or not going to school.
One day, she asked a 10 or 11-year-old girl, her name was Lulta, “How many brothers and sisters do you have?” Lulta said, “Three, maybe four.”
“What do you mean, do you have three or four?”
“Three. The fourth is almost dead.”
So my wife, Ruth, said, “Can I come to look at this baby who is almost dead?”
When she went into the hut, on a cot, with no mattress, this string cot, was an 18-month-old baby, Sheila. Her thighs were as thick as my thumb. She was covered with flies because pus was oozing out of every part of her body, including her head. My wife asked the mother, “What is wrong with her?”
“She doesn’t eat anything. Whatever we feed her she vomits.”
“Have you taken her to the doctor?”
“How can we take her to the doctor? We don’t have the money. I will give you the money, and in any case, the government hospital is free.”
“Oh, I can’t go into the city,” the mother said.
“Take your husband.”
“How can my husband take a day to go to the hospital? Who will look after the fields and the animals?”
My wife was really puzzled that this family was so poor, they have this daughter almost dying and they cannot take her to the hospital. So she said, “I will come with you.”
So the mother said, “I will speak to my husband when he comes.”
My wife came back and asked me to go talk to her husband. I didn’t want to go because I was writing this very important book. I was like the disciples of Jesus who didn’t really want little children to come to Jesus. Because they were looking for the Kingdom of God in Israel. But, wives have a way of persuading and changing your priorities. So I went. They decided not to take her to the hospital.
Why? “We don’t have the money.”
“But my wife told you she would give you the money.”
“But we don’t want to get into debt.”
“But this is not a loan. This is a gift.”
The husband got angry at me. “She is our daughter, why are you bothered?”
“Why am I bothered?” I didn’t have a good answer, I didn’t even understand the question, but the logic of it was, I assumed they didn’t really want the girl to live. So I asked him, “Are you trying to kill this daughter? If you are killing her, why don’t you pick up a knife and stab her? Why are you starving her like this?” And I decided to pretend I was angry and I shouted at him, “Look, if you don’t take this girl to the hospital tomorrow, I am bringing the police.”
There was a lowly man listening to the conversation and he advised the father, “Look, this young fellow is crazy. He might actually ring the police here. If the police bring the daughter to the hospital, you might have to pay. Right now they are offering to pay, you let her go.”
The next day, my wife took the baby to the hospital. The doctors wouldn’t give her any treatment because she was completely dehydrated and had no strength. She had to be put in an intravenous, and a few days later they began to give her medicine. A month or so later, the doctor said, “The bill is getting too high. You took her to the hospital, you feed her through a tube in her nose, and look after her.” And the doctor said, “I will come and visit you and see this girl in your home.” So, we brought her to our home and began to nurse her and she blossomed. She began to smile and she came back to life. That was a real joy.
Her mother came and started fighting with us, “We want our daughter back because our caste does not approve of our daughter living in your home because you are not of our caste.” my wife said, “Of course we want you to look after your daughter, take her back, I will pay you for the milk.” Three or four weeks later, the daughter was back to square one because the milk was being given to the sons, to the brothers, not to her. And the whole process had to be repeated. My wife had to persuade the mother, I had to fight with the father, my wife took the daughter back to the hospital, she spent another month or so there, and then came back to our home. And then really began to blossom.
The mother came back fighting that, “Our caste will ex-communicate us because we have given our daughter to you, and you are not part of our caste.” My wife said, “Sure, we want you to look after your own daughter. This time, I am not going to give you the money. I will pay the milkman to give you the milk.” The other took the daughter and in two or three days, the daughter was dead.
I was convinced that the parents were trying to kill their daughter because they already had an older sister who could look after the younger siblings. They didn’t need a second girl. They didn’t believe a human being is made in God’s image. Every human being is precious. This is God’s word, that “you shall not kill”. If they had a lawyer, the lawyer would have argued that they are doing nothing, the parents had done nothing, which an average American that goes for abortion doesn’t do. They didn’t have ultrasounds, they didn’t have facilities. If they had known this baby was a girl, they would have aborted her. But because they found out the gender only after she was born, the fact that they were killing her after 18 months, simply shows how good they were and how difficult a decision it was for them to murder her.
Is a child made in God’s image? Is a child valuable? We saw that girl through Christ’s eyes, that if she is so precious that Jesus would come to this world to give His life so that she might have eternal life, she was precious enough for us to invest in her, in giving her abundant life and eternal life.