What I Learned Praying For a Miracle

What to pray when you are waiting for a miracle

Oct 10, 2023

Bennett Rolan

BSF Editorial Manager

Paul Wambi needed a miracle. Hospital monitors beeped in the background while his infant son, Matthew, fought for survival.  

As a husband and father, Paul stood helpless.  

“I stood at the hospital balcony looking into the darkness. I felt real desperation. I can understand how people feel when they consider taking their own lives. I was in this place of suffering that I didn’t ask for,” Paul shared. My wife, Sereti, was broken, the doctors didn’t have answers about how my son would fare, and I had a hospital bill I could never pay. I felt so desperate, so heartbroken.”   

“I asked the Lord, ‘How is this going to end?’ I asked for a miracle.”  

Inexplicably, Paul’s anguish released its grip. As he gazed into the darkness, he knew the light would come. Circumstances remained desperate, but the weight of his family’s suffering lifted. Instinctively, he knew Jesus carried the cross and bore fatal wounds for moments like this.   

“I became so encouraged and grateful to God for that moment, knowing that He was with me and had not forsaken me. I didn’t know how it would end, but I knew that God did. He knew before it even happened. I could trust that.”   

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Jesus carried the cross and bore fatal wounds for moments like this.

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Matthew survived one day, and then the next. He stayed in hospital for 2 months and faced numerous life-threatening infections, setbacks, and tests.  Doctors watched in wonder as the 26-week premature baby gained strength. In His own perfect plan, God held Matthew’s life in His hands.  

“Those were difficult months, but God provided everything we needed. Through the BSF Life of Moses study, He gave us a fresh perspective that His sovereignty towered over our difficulties. God strengthened me each day as I taught a BSF young adult class. I kept going forward, knowing that God had us covered. I would go to our Leader’s Meeting, then straight back to the hospital. Teaching God’s Word became an anchor for me, it was the source of my peace of mind.”   

Paul and his family rejoiced when Matthew was discharged from hospital. Two years later, they were shocked by a new diagnosis. Matthew had Cerebral Palsy. Again, the Wambis prayed for a miracle. Again, they felt God’s peace and presence. But this time, healing didn’t come.   

Nine years later, Paul and Sereti continue to pray for Matthew’s healing. During that time, they have also learned to pray for more than a miracle.  

“Help me to view my circumstances through Your eyes.”

Living in Nairobi, the Wambis face challenges with wheelchair accessibility, lack of schools for severely disabled children, and quality therapy. Socially, people often avoid Matthew out of fear or insecurity. 

“We know that Jesus is able to do a miracle for Matthew as we read in the Gospels. In the meantime, we find encouragement in knowing that God has a good and perfect plan . Even in this suffering, God’s glory is displayed. In the daily suffering of caring for Matthew’s every need, we continuously seek God’s perspective.” 

“I think that if the entire world was like Matthew, this world would be an amazing place. It would be like a piece of heaven on earth. He loves people unconditionally. You talk about miracles – whoever shows up, whoever he meets, he is excited to know them. He looks into your eyes, and you know you are loved. God has a purpose for this child beyond what we can see.”   

When Paul and Sereti long for the day when Matthew will speak, run, and play, they find hope in the words of Jesus.  

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)  

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God has a purpose for this child beyond what we can see.

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“Use my circumstances for Your glory.”

Like many in Kenya, the Wambi family could have hidden Matthew from friends and neighbors. Instead, they view Matthew’s limitations as an opportunity.   

“People see the way God gives us strength to navigate life,” Paul shared. “They see it is possible to hold onto God, even when he doesn’t give you what you want. Sometimes, the unexpected journey becomes a great blessing.”  

For Matthew, Sunday church services are especially challenging. Loud noise and crowds magnify his symptoms, and he is not alone. Other families with special-needs children share similar struggles.

With the help of a local pastor and other parents, Paul and Sereti created a worship service for special needs families influenced by the structure of the BSF Children’s program.  

When we prayed, ‘God please give us a church home where each member of the family feels loved and welcomed,’ He provided not just a church for us but for others. People with disabilities, their parents, caregivers and siblings come as they are to worship and serve together.  No one judges them or keeps their distance.”  

In praying that God would use their circumstances for His glory, Paul and Sereti have seen lives transformed. They are living examples of Jesus’s command from John 13:34-35. 

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  

“When you remain faithful to the work God has led you to do, you create a ripple of impact. I have learned that our life is part of the greater story of Jesus Christ. Suffering is part of following Christ and I have found out that it is better to be at the feet of Jesus Christ than live apart from Him.”  

About the Author

Bennett Rolan joined the BSF staff in 2017 after writing for a variety of publications, Christian ministries, and non-profits. She loves to combine her passion for Bible study with her journalism and history background. As the wife of a busy college football coach and a mom to four young children, BSF studies keep her grounded in God’s Word.

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37 Comments

  1. I have started BSF program introduced by my friend Ebby Abraham in Sydney. It helped me to learn more about the biblical truth and Jesus Christ Thanks a lot!

    Reply
  2. Thank you for your testimony of trusting God through difficult times, may the Lord continue to bless you & your family as you navigate the world of disability.

    Reply
  3. What an encouragement this is to me. The love they show in the circumstances is a shining example of God’s love on display in full view for everyone to see. May God continue to show His love through this family.

    Reply
  4. Thank you for publishing this heart-rending story at the beginning, but hope-giving as I read to the end.
    May God revive Paul and Sereti’s zeal to worship Him more and stronger, as they witness God’s presence through the life and testimony of their son, Matthew.

    Reply
  5. Brother and Sister Wambi, May God continue to strengthen you as you serve Him even with the challenges of raising a differently abled child.
    God has good plans for Matthew to give him a hope and a future. God has the bigger picture for your son. In my thoughts and prayers

    Reply
  6. Thank you for this serving God regardless of the circumstances with the reminder that He is Sovereign

    Reply
  7. This is such a faithful reminder of how to serve the Lord while we continue to pray and wait patiently on Him! I love the fact that God, in His infinite wisdom, not only uses, but somehow manages to capitalize on every situation that we face. No matter what it is, He is able to turn a trying situation into a magnificent blessing for us right along with those in our circle. What a Wonderful and Mighty God we serve!

    Reply
  8. What a blessing to read. I too, have a 33 year old special needs son and you brought back so many memories. I am praising God for how He provides in every situation, both big and small. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Reply
  9. God is truly on His throne and He has conquered the world, so I should not fear… Thank you God. Amen

    Reply
  10. This piece explores the role of faith in difficult situations, when we face unexpected challenges and have no easy solutions for our problems. It shows how we can trust God to fulfill our deepest needs. #thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  11. I have learned that our life is part of the greater story of Jesus Christ.This statement shifts my perspective to eternity.Very encouraging words.

    Reply
    • Esther – thank you for sharing! I love that thought

      Reply
  12. Thank you so much Wambis for sharing your story. I am personally encouraged by how God’s purpose comes through our challenges. As I care for my elderly mom who is battling with stage 4 cancer, my late sister’s 1.2 months baby, and serve others through BSF. This is another reminder that healing comes in different forms and we are part of a greater story. May we continually trust and obey. Amen.

    Reply
  13. I grew up with a brother who had cerebral palsy. He was 10 years older than me. He did not have a mental incapacity but physical and in fact graduated from college. He did not walk until he was 9 yrs old and then had to go to a wheelchair at 50.
    We live in an easier culture than the one this boy lives in. But sometimes people would assume that Tom was drunk because of the way he walked and talked. He was treated badly in places where he was not known. It made me angry.
    But Tom knew the Lord and studied his bible. I remember asking him why he did that when I was 10. Tom’s testimony was the best blessing God ever gave me.

    Reply
  14. It is good to hear that people with disabilities are welcome in some churches…

    It’s difficult maybe to integrate people with disabilities, to find a place to sit, most people are not so keen having them next to them.

    No easy answers, one expects more from church people, but ……

    Reply
  15. God seems to choose very special people to look after his little ones who have special needs. This speaks volumes about who Sereti and Paul are. And God has glorified Himself through their faithfulness and dependence on Him.

    Reply
    • The above comment is beautiful! I agree!! God will equip these families to love trust and persevere, in a way that He will be magnified through their dependance on Him, to give strength for their journey! God bless you families that live , every day with the many challenges that disabilities bring… But oh, what a closer walk with Him, you can develop! Thank you, for blessing your son with indescribable love!!

      Reply
  16. was really touched to read the miracle story of the Wambis. Sure God has a plan for Matthew even before He created this world. He will fulfill it. Happy to learn that they have a church now with similar needs and they can worship God with and thro the challenges.

    Reply
  17. How I loved the Wambi story. I think that God wonderfully uses the stories of our brothers and sisters in Christ, to lift us up and encourage us. Thank you so much, for writing this one.

    Reply
  18. Thank you for these beautiful testimonies to the amazing grace that God can give in the midst of trials, fears, anxiety. What a Savior and Friend we have in Jesus.

    Reply
  19. I know Paul and Sereti Wambi Personally and they are such a huge inspiration. How they have held on to God through this daily challenge of raising Matthew is so humbling for the rest of us who God has graced. I pray for them and their work in BSF. I am currently part of a BSF class in Mombasa, Kenya where I also serve as a Pastor of a local Baptist Church.

    Reply
  20. What a beautiful story, so encouraging too. What a blessing to see just how much this lovely family loves and trusts in God.

    Reply
  21. Paul – Thank you for sharing. This is a powerful testimony and a truly transforming perspective – giving me courage to move on and see what God does in our circumstances. Bless you !

    Reply
  22. Praise God for miracles .Thankful that the church family responded to their needs.

    Reply
    • Thank you Paul and Sereti for allowing yourselves to be vulnerable for the rest of us to understand that God answers prayers in very many ways. We just have to be tuned to Him to see how. I recently met Sereti and did not get to know this part of her testimony at the time but now I understand why she had such a calming presence.

      God bless you Paul and your family as you continue to allow God to work through for the glory of His name.

      Reply
  23. Thank you for sharing the story of such a beautiful family. It often takes looking at someone else navigate their challenges in life to remind yourself to appreciate your own life. Rearing a special needs child is quite challenging. My heart truly goes out to families experiencing this. However, I never considered how worship service can be a stimuli overload for special needs children, until I read this article. Praise God for a pastor and others who listened to this need and came along side of this family to create a worship experience that they can fully enjoy and participate.

    Reply
  24. Thank you for this encouragement! Blessed by the suffering of this beautiful family and the outpouring of their love for Jesus.

    Reply
  25. I wonder why we never see real undeniable miracles, faith is important but to see an actual miracle would be something really helpful to a lot of people……

    Did anyone out there ever experience a real verifiable miracle? Something where it can’t be denied that something supernatural happened?

    Reply
    • Yes, my daughter’s tumors disappeared.

      Reply
      • Yes recently went to my doctor and was told diabetes gone, had been on medicine and no longer need any,
        Dr. remarked sometimes we see this and cannot explain.
        Well I can The Lord brought this about and I praise Him.
        We who belong to Him have all experienced the greatest
        miracle ..Life in Him we where the living dead !!!
        I still have cancer issues but The Lord walks with me and
        gives me all I need each day. He can do more than we ask
        or expect.. Love and Blessings

        Reply
    • Yes. My grandmother had a great fruit sized tumor in her abdomen that she was going to get surgically removed on a Thursday.
      On Sunday night church service she asked the elders of her church to pray for her with oil like the Bible says, and they did.
      When she went home and went to bed, she lifted her hands and was just praising the Lord not asking him for anything, and she felt such a heat come through her body from her head to her toes, and she knew she was healed.
      He made an appointment with the doctor and he examined her, and the tumor was gone. 🙌🏼

      Reply
  26. Hi!

    Am a BSFER since our class opened in Bugolobi, Kampala ,Uganda. In 2012, we were first a Prayer Group then were promoted to a Class after 2 years.

    This class has kept me in the Word ……and I have made friends for life through our prayers….Some answered….Others still waiting…!!

    I mirror myself and our granchildren, boy and girl…in this Mathew story…Both my grand children have some autistic challenges!!

    When the bigger boy first answered on phone…”.How are you….Am fine…Howis school…Itis good…” we were all so happy!! It was a very short conversation…But a great break through for me spiritually!!

    So when I read about Mathew ……I pray for him to live a better healthy life….to be able to talk, hear songs, clap hands and worhip the Lord!!!

    Keep heart, the Wambis….you have ministered and made lives happy!!
    Especially young disabled lives….by example……God richly bless you!!

    Reply
    • Having served with Paul and Sereti in Young Adults during this season I have seen first hand God’s hand upon this family.They remain an inspiration to serve God amidst adversity.I love this family and I am amazed by how God has used them to be a blessing including my family.

      Reply
  27. God moves in mysterious ways. Let’s just praise Him. We yet pray for Matthew and others.

    Reply
  28. May God continue to love on Matthew and the whole family, as you support each other and bless your community.

    Reply
  29. Beautiful beautiful story of hope and resilience. Jesus, you are faithful.

    Reply
  30. We have known Paul and Sereti for a long time, first as singles, then as newly called teaching leaders of a YA class in Nairobi. We have prayed for them through the start of their marriage, and as God has blessed them first with Matthew and now with another young son. We have witnessed their faithfulness to God through this process and we KNOW that God has great things in store for them in the future!

    Reply

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