It was a cold, windy night in Nairobi, Kenya with sheets of tropical rain beating down throughout the evening. In the huge slum adjacent to our St. Mary’s Mission Hospital an unwanted child was born in secret and thrown out naked into a fetid garbage pile. All night long this child lay exposed to the rain and cold. The next morning some kind people from the slums discovered her in the garbage pile and brought her to St. Mary’s. She was gray, wet-wrinkled from the rain, so cold a thermometer couldn’t record her temperature, and barely alive with only feeble remaining gasps.
Using hot water bottles to gently warm her, oxygen, glucose, and liberal amounts of love, St. Mary’s nurses were able to bring this little child back to life. Bugs from the garbage pile that had crawled into her mouth and ears were removed. By the next day she was able to begin bottle-feeding. Named "Hazina" (meaning "‘treasure"’ in Swahili), this tough little child is now a happy resident of our newly opened Maternity Ward. We thank God for the gift she is to us as a "Catholic Center of Health Care Ministry In Service To The Poor."
Perhaps this child holds a Christmas message for us to ponder. Within our own lives, each of us responds to love offered by others. We can experience Christ’s nourishing love within our "life-story" this special season and be richly nourished by it.