Arpita This is a true story about a young girl in one of Compassion’s child development centers in India.


Last summer, heavy rains poured into the village where 12-year-old Arpita lives.

The ground, already saturated from previous rains, left nowhere else for the waters to go … so the entire village flooded. Muddy water, one foot deep, filled Arpita’s home.

When you live in extreme poverty, access to clean water is hard to come by, but filthy water seems to make its way to your door with great ease.

Arpita was sitting on her raised bed, getting dressed for the day. While she fussed with the fabric of her frock, she clinched an open safety pin between her teeth.

Suddenly, the pin wiggled in her mouth, and Arpita found herself choking. The pin was far enough down that her throat’s natural reaction was to swallow.

The sharp edge of the pin scraped along the inside of her esophagus. Arpita ran to her mother and father to tell them what had happened.

pin made its way all the way down to her stomach. Arpita’s mother was worried it could do severe damage.

She had Arpita drink water. She rubbed her little girl’s tummy. But nothing could make the pain go away. She decided to take Arpita to the hospital.

Arpita’s father went to the Compassion project, asking the pastor to have the children pray. An odd request, considering Arpita’s parents weren’t Christians. But they still believed in the power of prayer.

The children prayed. Fervently. Tears streamed down their little faces as they pleaded for God to rescue their friend and classmate.

Meanwhile, Arpita’s doctor performed an x-ray of Arpita’s stomach.

Their worst fears were confirmed. The pin was open … and it had lodged in the lining of her stomach.

Short of a miracle, the doctors were going to have to perform a rather risky surgery to open up Arpita’s stomach and remove the pin.

But our God is the God of miracles.

Watch the video to see how the story plays out.


You can also view this video about Arpita on YouTube.

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  1. Jul 17, 2008
    at 8:29 am

    I don’t know which part touched me most: The way God worked out Arpita’s crisis, or watching those children pray. What prayer warriors they are!

    Thank you, Tim, for helping me start my day with tears of humility, awe and thanksgiving to and for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

  2. Shelly Quigg
    Jul 17, 2008
    at 9:08 am

    I don’t see the video up on the blog yet. Please hurry…I can’t wait to see wait to see what happened!!!

  3. Jul 17, 2008
    at 10:25 am

    That’s a great story. That actaully teaches more about prayer than anything else. Thanks for sharing it!

    Kees

  4. Jul 17, 2008
    at 10:29 am

    Beautiful story. Beautiful girl.

    I’m a little taken aback by the importance placed on the prayers of children, though. I can point to scores of examples where children prayed earnestly with tears for friends who were in trouble or sick — and the child died anyway.

  5. Jul 17, 2008
    at 2:04 pm

    Kelly,

    Good observation. I think we have to be careful of insinuating that God gives children everything they pray for…
    but I do think this is a powerful story of ONE answered prayer.

    Shelly, can you not see the video in the post?

  6. Jul 17, 2008
    at 2:34 pm

    I am looking forward to my next conversation where the topic of, “How big is your God,” comes up.

    “My Savior,” I will say, “can not only move moutains, He can also close a safety pin without using His hands.”

  7. Jul 17, 2008
    at 3:45 pm

    Thanks be to God He doesn’t give ME everything I pray for.

  8. Jul 17, 2008
    at 4:22 pm

    Kelly, I understand your concern. I could tell you of countless situations in which I and many other adults have prayed fervently, with and without tears, for someone’s healing, and the people died, anyway, as you said. But, personally, I need to know that sometimes, God does answer prayer as we ask. I need Him to answer some of my prayers, as I ask, always according to His knowledge of what is best.

    For me, the key part of seeing the children in prayer was to see how they were praying. It appeared to me that they prayed as if they knew without question that (1) everything depended on God and (2) He was able to bring their friend through this crisis. So often, in our culture, and at times in my own prayer life, problems and requests are not brought to God until all other avenues have been exhausted. And then we’re a bit like the lady on the sinking cruise ship who, having asked the captain if there wasn’t anything they could do and hearing him say, “Yes, madam, we can pray,” she replied, “Alas! Has it come to that?!”

    I, for one, need to be more like Nehemiah, whose first response to a crisis and to opposition was to pray, putting the matter on God; his second response, then, was to get busy doing what could be done.

  9. Jul 17, 2008
    at 5:19 pm

    We know God is an AWESOME God, and it is so amazing when He works in this way,that I wonder why we don’t more earnestly pray, as effectively as those beautiful children were doing-
    With humility, faith, expecting
    God to work! I won’t soon forget that picture! God help me to become as a little child!

  10. Shelly Quigg
    Jul 17, 2008
    at 6:14 pm

    Tim,
    Sorry, I see it now. I was at work and it must have been blocked! Thanks for asking. I love reading the blogs every day. Keep up the good work!

  11. Sara
    Jul 18, 2008
    at 12:02 am

    I loved seeing the joy in Arpita’s face when she got back home, and the confidence she had at the end when she told her story and how Jesus had healed her.

    I thank God that her parents believed in the power of prayer and approached the project to ask for help and prayer even though they were not believers. Vicki, I agree that in America we tend to view prayer as a last resort, or at least not our first response. How humbling to see the children praying with such faith, they knew that God would hear their prayers and heal her.

  12. Jul 18, 2008
    at 6:03 am

    God always answers prayer–sometimes with healing and other times without. Once when I was supposed to speak at a womens’ retreat I completely lost my voice the day before. I asked the women to pray either that I would be healed or that He would show us who was to speak in my place. As an elderly woman prayed, I felt a cool breeze go in my mouth and down my throat and the lump was immediately dissolved and I could speak. Another time, I was ill and uncertain whether to keep a speaking engagement in the morning or not. I again prayed the same prayer. In the middle of the night, both of our boys were up sick and I knew I needed to cancel. When that speaking engagement was re-scheduled, my mother-in-law was in town and was able to come with a friend. She passed away not long after that from cancer, but had received Christ as Savior. These were two events in my life that clearly revealed God’s power (and wisdom) to heal or not, based on His sovereignty and best timing–He knows best. Thank you for sharing this wonderful account of our sweet Arpita! The best part is that God will use this many times in the future lives of each of these children! I have never forgotten what happened to me.

  13. Yoonkyung
    Jul 21, 2008
    at 5:30 am

    It’s truly amazing to witness how God answers to the prayer of our precious children.
    God always provides marvelous things and plans for us beyond our thoughts and imagination.
    Thank you for sharing this wonderful story.

  14. Arpita Dutta Roy
    Jan 16, 2009
    at 6:50 am

    I was going through few blogs on the net and found this interesting incedent, its my believe too that god still exist, and miracles do happen if we pray.

  15. P R
    Mar 23, 2009
    at 10:01 pm

    You are all being just a bit dramatic. These things happen all the time with even more dangerous objects. My 5 month old swallowed and had to pass a fully open, reguar sized safety pin without reprocussions. The doctor actually recomended it as being safer than endoscopic surgery.

  16. Mar 24, 2009
    at 9:06 am

    P.R.,

    I agree with Vicki. I don’t think this blog is a good forum to go into whether the sign gifts are for this day and age, because you would really need to sit down and compare Scripture with Scripture, use proper hermeneutics and not just rely on a single verse. (The Bible wasn’t written in verses, but that was added later).

    But the thing that I got out of this was how the children prayed and how earnest and dependent and desperate they were before God. I experienced this myself, when I went to Bolivia. I got severe altitude sickness, to the point that they had to take me to a local clinic and one of the workers at the project started praying for me. I have never seen anyone pray that earnestly for me. She poured her whole soul into this prayer. It showed me several things.

    1. She was totally dependent on God and realized that even if the doctor came up with a solution, that it was still God, Who had given him that insight.

    2. That she really cared for me as a fellow believer and wanted me to get better. The way we love our fellow brothers and sisters demonstrates our love for God.

    I think of this blog many times. It made a huge impact on my life and it demonstrated to me where it says: “The earnest prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

    Kees

  17. Mar 24, 2009
    at 9:41 am

    Good points everyone. I think the most moving part of this video, for me anyway, is the fact that these children have obviously been taught to rely on God…to seek him for help.

    PR, the difference in this case, medically anyway, is that the open safety pin was lodged in the lining of the stomach. Then, somehow, it became unlodged, and passed through the girl’s system as a closed safety pin.

    Perhaps the video IS a bit dramatic. But this is more than a story about a child passing a safety pin. It’s a story about prayer, children seeking God and supernatural things taking place that could not be explained by doctors.

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