“Faith Got Us There,” Tambuli, Sept. 1993, 8
On Friday, 19 August 1988, I was at my job as a police officer in the Río Ceballos district office, near Córdoba, Argentina. At about 9:30 that morning, I received a telephone call from the nurse at the community health center, asking for assistance. We often got such calls, since we operated one of the few ambulances in the area.
The nurse told me that in the health center there was a five-month-old baby with a case of extreme dehydration. She required an urgent transfer to the children’s hospital in Córdoba, where the equipment necessary to treat her would be available. The ambulance driver and I were quickly on our way, and we soon had the baby and her mother in the ambulance. The baby was scared and crying; she had a fever and was hyperventilating. Her eyes were wide open, and her little face showed that she was in great pain.
From Río Ceballos to the hospital in Córdoba is a distance of forty kilometers. We had gone about fifteen when steam and boiling water began to shoot out from under the hood. A red light came on inside the cab, and the temperature gauge showed overheating. This couldn’t be happening! We had just had the ambulance checked over. But we had no choice other than to stop at the side of the road and carefully open the hood.
The hose that connected the radiator to the motor was leaking in several places and was about to burst. “We can’t go any farther,” said Oscar, my companion. “If we had gone just a few more meters, the ambulance would have broken down completely.” Feeling helpless, he hit the roof of the ambulance.
My mind raced as I tried to think of a solution. We didn’t have a radio, and there were no other cars on the road that we could signal for help. All around us, there were only abandoned fields. Meanwhile, the baby was getting worse.
Finally, I told Oscar that we had to continue as far as we could and see if we could get to a place where we could get help. “We should trust in God and have faith that we will arrive,” I said.
Oscar hesitated. If we went any farther, the hose might explode, and we would never get there. If we waited a little longer, the engine might have time to cool down. But the baby was getting steadily worse. Again, I told him, “Oscar, we should trust in God. He will help us get to the hospital.”
I also encouraged the mother and her baby. As I spoke, I felt someone telling me that if we didn’t lose hope, we would arrive in time to save the baby. With determination and confidence, I said, “We will make it.”
We started the motor and moved on. The gauge didn’t show such a high temperature now, and we continued our journey. Steam was no longer coming out from under the hood. Cautiously we drove on. After what seemed like an eternity, we made it to the hospital.
The doctor who attended the baby told us, “If you had taken any longer, she may not have arrived here alive. She was in worse shape than we thought.”
How grateful I was that our Father in Heaven had helped us arrive in time! I knew that He had been with us the whole way there.
As we returned to Río Ceballos, we discussed what had happened. Oscar said, “That was incredible. I didn’t think we would make it.”
I told him we had witnessed a miracle. He looked me in the eyes, smiled, and nodded his head in agreement. “I was praying the whole way there that God would help us,” I told him.
“So was I,” he confessed. “It was the first time I had ever prayed so much. God helped us to arrive. Only He could have done it.”
Later, as I was meditating about what had happened and reading the scriptures, I found this passage in the Bible:
“The apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.
“And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you” (Luke 17:5–6).
May we seek to increase our faith and rely on the Lord in good times and bad.