By DAVID GREEN
Pastor Donna Galloway didn’t know it at the time, but the infant that was placed in her arms one day in Zambia would soon become an integral part of her life.
The story of how the baby grew to become the Galloways’ daughter, Ana, is told in a newly published book by Donna’s husband, Tedd. The book is titled “A Mother’s Heart Moved the Hand of God.”
A book signing is planned at an open house from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Morenci United Methodist, where Donna Galloway serves as pastor.
The Galloways lived in the Zambian bush from 1989 to 1992 and helped staff a rural hospital. One of their three daughters attended school in a larger city. Another daughter, Hilary, who wasn’t yet 10 years old, lived with her parents at the mission station.
One day a man appeared with an infant who was close to death. He said he was the girl’s uncle and he had walked two days to reach the station.
There’s a tradition among the Tonga people that should have led to the baby’s death, Tedd explained.
“If a child is powerful enough to kill a mother during childbirth,” he said, “the child is considered evil and will be buried with the mother.”
While awaiting the mother’s burial, the uncle told the women of the village that the spirit of the baby would haunt them if the child was buried. He took the baby from its mother’s corpse and began his journey, which ended when he handed the infant, Ana, to Donna.
Several infants were at the hospital, Tedd said, and they were dying from some unknown cause. A nurse feared there was an illness in the hospital and brought Ana to the Galloways’ house.
Ana wasn’t in the best of health, either, and one night she was experiencing convulsions. The Galloways had been warned by a doctor that she probably wouldn’t survive the night.
She did survive and that became a turning point—both for Ana’s health and for the Galloways’ affection for the child. After a few months, when they were away at a retreat, an important decision was made.
“We decided that we loved her enough that we wanted her to be part of the family,” Tedd said.
That was good news to their daughter Hilary. She often went to the hospital with her mother to care for the orphaned babies and she developed a special relationship with Ana.
“When she came in to the hospital, Hilary wanted to be with her and give her extra care,” Tedd recalls.
The adoption process was completed in Zambia and Ana found a new home in Michigan when the Galloways were hired at a church in Alma. Most of her childhood was spent in the Hubbard Lake area near Alpena where Ana became an honor student at Alcona High School and earned athletic honors in basketball from the Detroit Free Press.
She graduated from Grand Valley State University this year and works in the Grand Rapids area.
Tedd describes the writing process as therapy—a way to think about life and try to figure some things out.
Why do some things happen the way they do? Why does God allow it?
Through writing the book, he was able to come up with some answers for himself.