Nasinde Pere will never forget the first time she heard her son’s cries. This isn’t the story of a glowing young mother hearing a baby wail in a hospital room. This story is harder. Sadder. But at the end, brimming with hope.
It started in an open field dotted with dried bushes and grazing goats. Nasinde had been in her small hut when a panicked neighbor told her that she had found something. Nasinde hesitated at first. Would she walk out into the heat of the day to find nothing? But the neighbor persisted, so Nasinde followed her.
Then, Nasinde heard the cries. She rushed toward the little lump of blankets placed under a bush and without thinking scooped up the bundle.
“I gently picked up the baby and cuddled him,” remembers Nasinde. “I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw that he was physically OK.”
The baby boy’s umbilical cord was still attached, telling Nasinde that he was probably just a few days old — and terribly dehydrated.
“He was so hungry,” says Nasinde. “He was nibbling his little fingers. His eyes were swollen from crying.”
Back home, Nasinde fed the baby some milk and bathed him. She even gave the baby a name, just until they found his family, she told herself. She called him Lenkai, which in her language translates as “God’s son.” And as she cradled him in her arms, wrapped in a fresh blanket, she wondered if God was redeeming both of their stories in that moment.