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Marjorie Chisonga says, “My husband and I kept praying. We prayed for 13 long years.” (Andrew McChesney / Adventist Mission)

​Praying to Have a Baby in Zambia

The biblical story of Hannah gave me hope.

By Marjorie Chisonga, as told to Andrew McChesney, adventistmission.org

My son was born a year after I got married.

Then nothing. No more children.

People started to notice. 

“Why aren’t you conceiving?” one person asked. 

“Maybe you should go to the medical doctor for help,” another said.

Some people suggested that I visit the witchdoctor.

My husband and I wanted more children. He taught at Rusangu Secondary School, a Seventh-day Adventist boarding academy in Monze, Zambia. I was studying to become an elementary school teacher.

What could I say to those inquiring about the size of my family?

“That’s the way it is,” I repeated over and over again. “God will provide.”

I wasn’t sad or annoyed by people’s pity. But as time wore on, I realized that some of my more superstitious friends thought I was being punished for some unknown reason.

Then my husband’s sister died, and we adopted her 3-year-old daughter. Now we had two children in our home. My superstitious friends rejoiced, saying the girl’s presence would wake up my hormones and allow me to have another baby.

Still nothing happened.

But the biblical story of Hannah in 1 Samuel 1 gave me hope. Hannah was a prayerful woman who never gave up. She persisted until God granted her prayer and she gave birth to Samuel.

My husband and I kept praying. We prayed for 13 long years. Then one day I noticed something was different. I was pregnant! My husband and I immediately knelt to pray with thanksgiving.

We named our second child Cheelela, which means “worthwhile” in the Tonga language. He was well worth the wait. In no time, I gave birth to a third son, Chakondela, which means “let it be so.”

My two younger sons are now 17 and 14 — and they love Jesus.

God has blessed my family abundantly. We just had to be patient. When you ask God to give you something good in faith, He will give you more than you could possibly desire.

Marjorie Chisonga praises God for her three sons. (Andrew McChesney / Adventist Mission)



Marjorie Chisonga, 52, teaches home economics at Rusangu Secondary School, located on land where U.S. missionary William Harrison Anderson established the first Adventist outpost in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) in 1905. Mission offerings supported Anderson’s work and continue to fund the spread of the gospel through missionaries today. Thank you for your mission offering.