While visiting the north Indian slums of Patiala to minister to the local impoverished garbage-pickers, Sulochana Singh saw something that broke her heart: a small baby girl lying on a cot with thousands of bees swarming over her nearly lifeless, skeletal body.
The baby was malnourished to the point of death and covered in oozing bedsores. Sulochana watched as the child struggled to breathe.
Her heart broke for the child and she wanted to help her. At the same time, Sulochana recognized that it wasn’t her business and worried whether interfering was the right thing to do.
“I heard a soft voice inside me saying, ‘What would you have done if she was your own baby?’" Sulochana said. "That voice touched me and I told my husband about the voice and got his consent to help the child.”
Sulochana and her husband, Pastor Akash Singh, found the baby’s parents and talked with them to find out why the baby had been left out on the cot. They learned the child had been so ill that doctors gave up hope for her, telling the parents that soon she would die. So the parents, not knowing what else they could do, had left the baby on the cot to die and prepared a grave for her.
Despite the others losing hope, Sulochana was persistent and asked if she and her husband could try to treat the baby in a government hospital. The father agreed and went with the Singhs to take the baby to the children’s ward of the government hospital. At first, they were met with more disappointment.
The doctor told them that because the baby was so close to death, they couldn’t even admit her for any treatment. But, after the Singhs pleaded with the doctor, his attitude changed and he decided to take a chance on the little girl.
He called his team in and they began treating the child. With some oxygen, she immediately began to improve.
Then, unexpectedly, the baby stopped breathing, and the staff thought she died.
Unwilling to give up, Sulochana and Akash went outside the hospital room, knelt down, and prayed to God for the baby’s life. Before they even finished praying, someone came out and told them the baby had begun breathing again. They rushed back into the room where doctors said they were going to run some tests and that they were optimistic for the baby’s life.
After all the tests, the baby was treated for 25 days. Sulochana and Akash were at her side day and night, doing everything they could to help. During the day, Akash stayed with the baby, and Sulochana stayed overnight.
“On the third day of the treatment, the baby opened her eyes and looked at me and smiled,” Sulochana said. “I went close to her, and in spite of having no strength in her hands, she still hugged me very tight and I told her, ‘Jesus loves you.’ The baby was almost a skeleton, and when she hugged me I could feel her bones. All her body pus got stuck to my dress. At that moment I felt that the Lord has given this baby to me. I praised God for a new life to the baby.”
After the little girl’s recovery, Sulochana talked with her husband and also with the father about the child’s future. If the parents were unable to care for her, would they be willing to let Sulochana and Akash raise her?
“We had already dug a grave for her in front of our house and had left the baby on the cot to die,” the father replied. “She was not eating anything and there was no hope for her. But you came in that time and the Lord has saved the baby through you. If we take the baby back, she would not survive. We have already decided to give the baby to you. You keep her.”
Sulochana and Akash were overjoyed with this blessing. Doctors and the medical team instructed them how to take good care of the girl.
Slowly, the child’s health improved, and she began putting on weight. The Singhs even renamed her.*
Over the following years, she started learning how to speak and began calling Sulachana and Akasha “Mom” and “Dad.”
“We had two sons (Enosh, 18 and Phillip, 17), and now the Lord had blessed us with a daughter,” Sulochana said.
Now, that baby is four years old and living a happy, healthy life.
“We love the baby very much," the Singhs said. "We want to see this baby become very educated and do great work for the Lord.”
*Name omitted for privacy