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A Living Miracle

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, July 1.

By Andrew McChesney


other went to medical checkups regularly in the first six months of her pregnancyin Montenegro. The physician didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary.

But what Mother and the physician didn’t know was that little Voya developed a birth defect 27 days after conception. His spine wasn’t developing properly in his lower back. He had a hole in his back. Part of his spinal cord poked through the hole, and those nerves were surrounded by a balloon. Voya had spina bifida.

Mother’s belly grew large, and she went to a second physician for assistance. That physician told her that the baby had a balloon measuring six inches (15 centimeters) in diameter on his back.

Mother was hospitalized. The physician said bluntly the baby’s prospects weren’t good. She said the baby would die or be badly disabled and recommended an induced birth to end the pregnancy quickly.

The next day, on a Friday, the physician ran an ultrasound and found that Voya could not move his legs. The physician concluded that Voya’s legs were useless.

The next day was the Sabbath, a day of rest, but not for Mother. She cried the whole day. That night, she was exhausted and slept for the first time in three days.

On Sunday, Mother woke up and wondered if it was all a bad dream. Then she remembered and started to cry again. Through tears, she spoke to God.

“God, You are almighty and a great God,” she said. “You can do everything. You gave life to my Voya. You are the Witness to all that is happening. If you decide to take him, it is not going to be easy for me, but I’ll accept it. If it is Your will, I will make peace with that. But if You leave him to me, please leave him healthy. Whatever You decide, I will accept. Just be here and do not allow anything to happen without Your permission. In God’s name I beg You. Amen.”

After the prayer, peace filled Mother’s heart. She was powerless, and her only hope was God. She believed that God would do what was best. But waiting was the hardest part.

God sent a ray of hope already that Sunday afternoon. The physician noticed that Voya’s bladder was full. It was an indication that something was working. Children with damaged backs usually have empty bladders.

After 10 days in the hospital, Mother was released. It was as if the physician was saying, “Let her go. Let God’s will be done.”

A short time later, Mother returned to the hospital. The physician wanted to see if Voya’s legs were moving. Mother and Father prayed before they went, and they prayed as they waited for the results.

As the physician did the ultrasound, Voya’s legs remained still. Five minutes passed. Ten minutes. Fifteen minutes. His legs remained still, and Mother and Father kept praying.

“God, please show us Your power once again,” Mother prayed. “Comfort us. Make the baby move his legs.”

After 20 minutes, the baby began to move both his right and left legs. Mother and Father were overjoyed! They returned home to wait for March 20, the day that the baby was expected to be born.

The physician warned that the baby would be stillborn. But Mother knew in her heart that God had decided to give Voya life. In the month leading up to the delivery date, she prayed constantly.

Right before giving birth, she prayed again. “Dear God, In a few minutes, I will find out whether You have decided to give Voya life or death. Once more I ask You for his life. But not my will but Your will be done. I thank You in Jesus’ name, Amen.”

The delivery happened very quickly. God gave strength to Mother. She smiled for joy when she heard Voya cry.

Life wasn’t easy for the boy. He spent much of his childhood with physicians and in physical therapy. But the physicians say that he is a living miracle. The little boy whom they thought had no chance at life is now a tall, strong teen who loves to run and jump.

“God did a miracle for our Voya,” says Mother, whose name is Milanka. “Voya rides a bike and plays soccer without any physical problems. Thank God for everything He has done for my family and me.”

Today Voya is a student at the Seventh-day Adventist secondary school in Novi Sad, Serbia, which opened with the help of a Thirteenth Sabbath Offering collected in third quarter 1997. A Thirteenth Sabbath Offering that people gave more than 25 years ago is helping Voya get an Adventist education today.

Voya’s family is thankful for this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering. It will help build a new Pathfinder camp in their homeland of Montenegro where Voya’s little sister and other children will be able to learn about the wonderful God who answers prayers. Thank you for planning a generous Thirteenth Sabbath Offering.