Two Babies’ Lives Saved

Amazonian Wednesdays 🌴

Jose and Carmen Arimborgo, some decades ago.


“Oh, God, help me keep this baby alive!”

This was Teresa’s cry as she clutched the infant in her arms. The child’s mother, Marisa, had just died in their canoe. Malaria had ravaged her young body and extinguished her life. They were traveling through the depths of the rainforest. Incalculable miles of river separated them from any kind of help or supplies.

Luz, the baby’s toddler sister, lay wretchedly in the boat. She, too, was dangerously ill. She gazed at Teresa with hollow, frightened eyes. Teresa continued to cry out to God. Suddenly, an idea came into her mind. Holy Spirit showed her a picture of herself nursing the little one.

“But my children are grown! Years have passed since my body provided them milk!” The nudge persisted. She obeyed, offering her breast to the hungry baby girl. Miraculously, milk began to flow. Amazed, Teresa fed the precious bundle in her arms. A short while later the child fell asleep, satiated. From then on, the supply persisted for as long as it was needed.

Somehow, they completed the trip. Teresa sorrowfully remembered Marisa’s dying words: “Please send my Luz to Pastor Carmen. I know she will help us.”

Carmen and Jose had taken Marisa in when she was pregnant with Luz. Just fourteen years old, she lived with them for much of her pregnancy. Shortly before giving birth, she returned to the remote rainforest. Carmen had grown attached to Marisa. She had been disappointed not to meet her baby.

Now that very baby was brought to her, orphaned and deathly ill. Malaria and several other parasitical infections were trying to steal her life. Carmen rushed her to the hospital, barely alive. “We will admit her only if you will stay here with her the entire time,” the receptionist announced firmly. Leaving her own toddler at home, Carmen eagerly made the commitment to live at the hospital for as long as necessary.

Frail Luz made it through that first long night. She made it through the next night too, fighting for her life. Every day, Carmen prayed and sang over the skeletal girl. Little by little, the child pulled through. Two weeks later, she was discharged from the hospital with a new chance at life.

That was over twenty-five years ago. Jose and Carmen cared for Luz for several years along with their own children after that. Then an American couple adopted her, taking her to live in the United States. She is now grown up, and has two little girls of her own.

From the very beginning, caring for the brokenhearted of the Amazon Jungle has been the Arimborgos’ heartbeat. When I met Jose and Carmen, they were looking after little Luz. I knew immediately that God was calling me to be a part of their incredible ministry. Not long after her adoption, I moved to Peru to join it.

Today, we continue to reach out to hurting lives with the healing love of Jesus. We are grateful beyond possible expression for this breathtaking privilege!

4 thoughts on “Two Babies’ Lives Saved

  1. What a beautiful testimony Jennifer. I would love to hear the follow up to these people’s stories as well as your own. This story feels like one of those television programs that stops in the middle of a dramatic scene with the words – to be continued!

    Liked by 1 person

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