During the summer of 1982, we visited an orphanage in Baja. There were children running around everywhere. I loved playing with them but I wanted to cuddle the babies. After spending a few minutes of playing tag and pushing some of the children on the swings, I sought out the nursery.

There were so many babies. There were babies in strollers, in baby seats, high chairs and beds. The conditions were not great but it was a well run establishment compared to most that I have seen since then.

I grabbed a baby bottle and cuddling a baby in one arm, I began using my foot to rock a fussy baby in a baby seat at my feet. Soon another baby was dropped into my arms and within a few minutes I was madrina* to 5 babies. (Madrina means godmother)

After a while, I was able to calm them and put them down for naps where ever I could find a space for them. That was fine by me, babies have always like me for some reason. 😉 This went on for a couple of hours and I was filled with such joy as I cuddled and prayed over each and every special little life.

Then my heart found her. A wee little thing with gobs of fluffy, jet black hair sticking straight out of that cute little head of hers. She had a little hair band around her head to try to keep the wispies out of her big black eyes. She had those chubbie cheeks that just beg you to kiss them.  What made her stand out from the rest of the babies was the dirty cast that completely covered her left hip down to her wee toes. She couldn’t really move so she just laid there trying to press chubby her little fingers into her mouth.

I asked a few of the workers her name and was shocked that no one seemed to know anything about her. Nameless, ageless, yet somehow she was important to me, and even more than that, she had eternal value in the eyes of her Father. I cradled her in my arms the rest of the day, just rocking her gently and praying over her life. I named her Fernanda, but I don’t know if they kept that name for her.  She forever changed my life that day.

I have had a lot of experience caring for babies and her situation touched me deeply. She had broken her hip by falling off the changing table.  It was probably the very first time she rolled over, normally an accomplishment met by loving parental praise. But not for Fernanda. There was no one for her.  She simply rolled over and met the hard cement floor with bone-breaking loneliness. Yet here she was, giggling in my arms with a resiliency that amazed me.

No name, no age, no one to joy over her first smile, first roll over, first sold foods. Who was there to cheer her on in life? We all need someone who has our “back” so to speak.  Our Heavenly Father does and He takes pride in our every attempt of greatness. He loves us no matter what mess we find our self in.  God touched my heart that day and it was then that I knew that He would be doing something very different than what I had planned for my life.  I am so grateful He did, I wouldn’t change a thing.  I love, absolutely LOVE what I get to do. We get to love on people, serve people and live a life filled with adventure and purpose as we serve the Lord together as a family.  Awesome sauce!


Stasia is mother to six beautiful children and wife to a dedicated, loving husband. They have served as a family together on the mission field on four continents for nearly 30 years.  She is a Crisis Response Chaplain with the BGEA Rapid Response Teams.  Stasia’s passion is to share in true colors the grace of God in her life. She serves as Co-Director of the Women’s Bible Cafe. Stasia is also the CEO of LifeVerse Books. Subscribe to LVB to receive regular free and discounted book deals and timely reviews. If this article has blessed you in any small way, please consider showing your support by clicking subscribe in the upper right corner. Copyright© 2018 Stasia Nielsen. All Rights Reserved.