10 Pfennig (English Version)

It was December of 1999 when we traveled to Germany to visit my brother and his family. Days after welcoming the new millennium, we drove to Paris, where we had a great time. At the beginning of the 2000s, the official currency in Germany was still the mark and in France, the franc. 

Back home, we kept the currencies of these countries as a souvenir. When my son entered school, he wanted to keep those coins in his bedroom. So, he put them in a little deep dish on top of his bedside table. 

One morning while my husband was driving him to school, I stayed home with our two-year-old daughter. While doing some work on the computer, I heard the sound of the coins. My daughter had come into her brother’s bedroom. A few minutes later, she came to me and, touching her throat, said that she had swallowed a coin while breathing with difficulty.

I immediately put aside what I was doing, took her in my arms, and hurried down the stairs. I stopped halfway in the landing before continuing to help her expel the coin as she turned purple. She just threw up the milk she had earlier, but the coin didn’t come out. I continued running down the stairs with her in my arms, opened the front door of my house, and rushed to the sidewalk, hoping someone would pass by and help me, but no one did.

My daughter needed air, and I was desperate. The coin was blocking her air passage. So, I cried out to the Lord for help. I gave her first aid, and she threw up milk again, but not the coin. Then she told me she had swallowed it. She was no longer purple and had recovered her natural color. I asked her where she felt the coin, and she pointed to her throat. Then, I understood that the coin was no longer stuck in her throat, that she only felt discomfort. When I saw that my daughter could breathe, I was relieved.

Anyway, I took her to the hospital and asked my mother-in-law to accompany me. They took X-rays and confirmed that she had indeed swallowed the coin. Yet, we only had to wait for it to come out, but she would need surgery to remove it if it did not within three days.

Amy no longer wore diapers, but she would need to wear one every time she had to go potty. I had to make sure that the coin came out. The diaper made her uncomfortable; however, she was very cooperative. The first day went by, and the coin didn’t come out. Day two went by, and nothing. When the third day came, early in the morning, I prayed to God and placing my hand on my daughter’s tummy, I said, “Coin, today you are coming out without causing any harm to my daughter.” These words seem crazy; however, we find a similar example in the Holy Scriptures. Jesus told his disciples, “… For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20 (author’s italics)

Hours later, that’s precisely what happened. Amy expelled the coin without any harm. My daughter had swallowed a pfennig – a German coin used before the Euro came into circulation.

In this story, my mountain was a coin. But in our walk through life, we face different kinds of mountains: high or low, difficult or easy to hike, that we wish were not there. So, if today, or in these days, or this season, you are facing one, you don’t have to do it alone; look up because your help comes from the LORD the Maker of heaven and earth (Psalm 121:1-2), and then, in the name of Jesus, activate your faith by calling things into order.


A Solitary Place

“When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.” Matthew 14:13-14

Jesus withdrew from the noise and the crowds after hearing about the death of John the Baptist. He needed time alone with his Father, so he took a boat. While traveling, he might have stopped in the middle of the waters to converse with the Father or he might have just kept sailing to the other side while talking. We don’t know the details, but as we read in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, when Jesus withdrew or retreated to a solitary place, it was to pray.

Prayer was an essential part of Jesus’ life and ministry.

This reminds me of my prayers or conversations I have had with God while driving. I’m not implying that this is the correct way to do it, but that when you call God’s name, he listens, no matter where you are.

When Jesus arrived to the other side of this body of water, he was ready for what came next. He attended a large crowd—about 5,000 people—healed the sick, and even fed them with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish—a great miracle of provision after prayer.

Would you be creative and choose your solitary place to pray? Make prayer an essential part of your life, too, and be expectant of God’s answer.

“In the morning, Lord , you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.” Psalms 5:3