(Post Identifier) Nancy and Don Weaver of Smyrna resided for nearly
ten years in South Asia, where he was News Bureau Chief for the
Voice of America. During the 70s and 80s, the couple had opportunities
to witness first-hand the humanitarian services of Mother Teresa.
Mother Teresa Helps a Young Girl in Trouble
By Nancy Weaver
In 1985, I was involved in an effort to secure the release of
a young American girl, who was arrested at New Delhi International
Airport on a drug-smuggling charge. Someone in her mother's church
in Seattle had contacted the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, asking if
anything could be done to help the jailed girl.
The plea was relayed to the Rev. Mark Buntaine, a well-known Assembly
of God missionary in Calcutta. He and Mother Teresa were friends
and he inquired whether she had any contacts in New Delhi.
This dear lady was scheduled to fly to Paris the next day but she
re-routed her flight to include a stop in New Delhi. I was asked
to pick her up at the airport.
Mother Teresa arrived unannounced but soon word spread throughout
the airport and a crowd gathered around her. In their custom, some
Indian bowed to touch her feet as a mark of respect.
She was little and stooped and pushed a cart filled with bundles,
wrapped in fabric and was obviously struggling.
Before I could get to her, others took over to assist her to our
car. She peered up at me, smiled and said, "Sometimes it's
nice to be Mother Teresa."
It was a very hot summer day in North India. We stopped at our house
en route to the court where she was to make a plea for the release
of the girl.
I asked her if she would like a cool drink and she replied, "No.
We never eat or drink anything outside of our facilities because
there are poor people who cannot even offer us a glass of water."
At the court, Mother Teresa asked the judge to release the girl
into her custody but he refused. The young lady, who I will call
Ruth, was pregnant and was ill and hospitalized at the time. Mother
Teresa said she would like to see her so I drove her to the hospital.
The staff, doctors and nurses, recognized her and while we waited
to be escorted to Ruth's room, they asked if they could do anything
Mother Teresa, who often spoke out against abortion as the greatest
danger to world peace, responded vehemently, "yes. Definitely.
You can stop killing babies. I will take them. Please, please stop!"
The doctors seemed uncomfortable, but she was adamant.
We visited Ruth and Mother Teresa told her she could come to her
orphanage in New Delhi to have the baby and her nuns would take
care of her and the infant if she managed to get out of jail.
It had been a long, arduous day. By that time, it was close to the
dinner hour and Mother Teresa asked me to drop her at the Missionaries
of Charity orphanage in the inner city, which I did. She left later
that evening for Paris.
At that time, and during my stints at her New Delhi orphanage, I
was impressed by her stamina, her willingness to go the lengths
she did for Ruth and her constant reference to Jesus. "Jesus
is all," she would say. We talked for the better part of that
day and it seemed Jesus was her every other word, praising Him constantly.
It was a truly remarkable experience for me.
Incidentally, Ruth's bail bond was secured and she was released.
She had her baby and hoped to flee India though Nepal and return
Writer Felt Power of Personality, Ministry
By Don Weaver
Mother Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity were active in Bangladesh
during the former Pakistani province's struggle for independence
and that's where I first met the diminutive nun.
I was visiting Dhaka in late summer, during the fierce guerrilla
struggle against Pakistani military forces.
I was aware that Mother Teresa's nursing nuns had been engaged in
caring for some of the East Pakistani refugees, who fled from the
province into Indian border regions to avoid persecution and bloodshed
at the hands of military forces from West Pakistan.
I had no idea, however, that she was personally involved in Bangladesh
until a Catholic priest cooked up a surprise. The good father had
told me one evening to be ready for a special treat, so the next
morning he picked me up at the Hotel Intercontinental and we sped
off on his scooter for Old Dhaka.
The drove into the enclosure through a large gate, and entered one
of the city's familiar stucco-style buildings. To my complete surprise
and fascination, there was Mother Teresa, a revered figure throughout
South Asia, where her humanitarian work had begun and prospered.
After pleasantries that included her customary "namaste"
greeting with palms pressed together, she guided me through the
complex as she related a shocking story.
As we strolled through the medium-sized ward, I could see a number
of tiny newborn babies, some in incubators, struggling to breathe.
As Mother Teresa explained, through European funding, an abortion
clinic had been established in another section of Dhaka for Bangladeshi
women, who had been raped an impregnated by members of the Pakistani
This resulted in great shame for these conservative Muslim girls
and women, who in many cases would turn to the clinic to abort.
Sometimes the abortion decisions came late, at virtual full term,
and if the resulting fetus was viable, somehow Mother Teresa would
be contacted and an ambulance would be rushed to the clinic to try
to rescue the baby.
At the time of my visit, the lives of about a dozen babies had been
saved. Mother Teresa and her nuns were also busy in other duties
at the Dhaka center, which was conducted along the lines of the
"Nirmal Hriday" (Pure Heart) operation in Calcutta. Such
operations supplied nutritious foods to lactating mothers and orphans
and provided other services for the poor, sick and needy.
I recall this tiny nun, in her simple white, trimmed-in-blue habit,
standing at the gate, seeing me off as I headed back to the hotel
to write the story.
To may dismay, the U.S. Consul General cabled to Washington a hold
on my dispatch, claiming it might result in a riotous mob attacking
Mother Teresa and her operation.
To my mind though, the loss of the story was miniscule compared
with the extraordinary privilege of meeting Mother Teresa and personally
experiencing the power of her personality and ministry.