One of my first memories after arriving in Sudan last August was naming a little baby boy.
It was the morning after I arrived, when twin babies were brought to the compound by their newly widowed father. The mother had died in childbirth, and the father did not know how he could provide for the tiny twins. Iris Ministries Sudan was able to help them by providing baby formula until the children could be weaned, which is something Iris does for many little babies. It was such a blessing to the family, who otherwise would not have been able to care for these children. I remember thinking happily that morning, “Now these babies can stay with their father!”
There was one problem- the babies had not yet been named! Names are important. Of course, they had their middle names assigned already. If you’re the elder twin, your second name automatically becomes Atigo. If you’re the younger twin, you are called Lotigo. The father did not have in mind any first names to give the children, and offered Michele the wonderful privilege of naming them.
Some of the team and I gathered around to pray for the babies. After prayer, Michele asked us if we had any sense of what the children should be named. As I looked at the boy, my heart’s cry was, “Oh that this little one would know God’s voice from a young age!” I heard myself ask Michele, “Can we name the boy ‘Samuel?'”
So, “Samuel” was translated into the Father’s tribal language, Kakwa, and thus the baby boy was named.
Today, I had the privilege of praying again for Samuel. He’s much bigger now, and today, he and his twin sister “graduated” from our milk program. They are now eating soups and porridge.
I don’t know how to describe the feeling I had as I looked into Samuel’s little face. I just felt so full! Full of joy, peace, and gratitude! Full of gladness to see him so big and healthy, full of thankfulness that he will grow up knowing his earthly father, and full of hope that this one will indeed know God’s voice from an early age!