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MountainWings       A MountainWings Moment

#7219              Wings Over The Mountains of Life

The Smell of Rain

A cold March wind danced around the dead of night in Dallas as
the doctor walked into the hospital room of Diana Blessing.
Still groggy from surgery, her husband David held her hand.
That afternoon, complications had forced Diana, only 24-weeks
pregnant, to undergo an emergency cesarean to deliver the
couple's new daughter, Danae Lu Blessing.

At 12 inches long and weighing only one pound and nine ounces,
they knew she was perilously premature. Still, the doctor's
soft words dropped like bombs. "I don't think she's going to
make it," he said. "There's only a 10-percent chance she will
live through the night, and even then, her future could be a
very cruel one."

Numb with disbelief, David and Diana listened as the doctor
described the devastating problems Danae would likely face if
she survived. She would never walk; she would never talk; she
would probably be blind; she would certainly be prone to other
catastrophic conditions from cerebral palsy to complete mental
retardation; and on and on.

"No! No!" was all Diana could say. She and David with their 5
year-old son Dustin, had dreamed of the day they would become a
family of four.

Now, in a matter of hours, that dream was slipping away. "David
said that we needed to talk about making funeral arrangements,"
Diana remembers, "I felt so bad for him because he was doing
everything, trying to include me, but I just couldn't listen."
I said, "No, that is not going to happen, no way! I don't care
what the doctors say. Danae is not going to die! One day she
will be just fine, and she will be coming home with us!"

Danae clung to life with the help of every medical machine and
marvel her miniature body could endure but as those first days
passed, a new agony set in for David and Diana. Because Danae's
underdeveloped nervous system was essentially "raw," the
lightest kiss or caress only intensified her discomfort - so
they couldn't even cradle their tiny baby girl against their
chests. All they could do was to pray that God would stay close
to their precious little girl.

As the weeks went by, she slowly gained weight and strength.
When Danae turned two months old, her parents were able to hold
her. Two months later, though doctors continued to warn that
her chances of survival-much less living a normal life-were next
to zero, Danae went home, just as her mother had predicted.

Five years later, Danae is a petite but feisty young girl. She
shows no signs of any mental or physical impairments. But this
happy ending is far from the end of her story. One blistering
summer afternoon, Danae was sitting in her mother's lap watching
her brother's baseball team practice. As always, Danae was
chattering non-stop with her mother. Hugging her arms across
her chest, Danae asked, "Do you smell that?"

Detecting the approach of a thunderstorm, Diana replied, "Yes,
it smells like rain." Still caught in the moment, Danae shook
her head, patted her thin shoulders with her small hands and
loudly announced, "No, it smells like Him. It smells like God
when you lay your head on His chest."

Tears blurred Diana's eyes as Danae then hopped down to play.
Her daughter's words confirmed what the Blessing family had
known all along. During the first two months of life, when her
nerves were too sensitive for them to touch her, God was holding
Danae on His chest, and it is His loving scent that she
remembers so well.

~A true story originally entitled "Heaven Scent" from the book,
"Miracles In Our Midst~

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When does God call people to long-term missionary service?

* 21% were called as a result of a missions education service in their local church
* 20% felt God calling them after listening to missionary speakers
* 19% were called because of their own family's missions vision and conversations
* 10% heard God's call through reading missionary books

-- Terry Read, missionary and missions professor