Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sometimes there are no words . . .

Almost 90% of the people here have no power at home electric or solar.  This means that they light their homes with candles and with kerosene lamps, so the children can do their homework.   We have also been preaching that every home have mosquito nets so that pregnant mothers and babies (the hardest hit group) will not die of malaria.  So, how are we supposed to feel when the students are studying at night to do better in school and the baby is sleeping under a mosquito net when the kerosene lamp gets knocked over and the mosquito net and bedding erupts into flames.  The baby burns to death in front of the family and the parents can't even comfort the children because their arms are burned from trying to save the baby.  That is just what happened on Tuesday to the daughter of one of our evangelists (lay pastors).  I paid for yet another coffin for an infant (about $20 if your were wondering) and sent money for medical treatment for the parents and more money for the food for the funeral gathering.  Because of the rather strict cultural admonition against men crying and particularly pastors and church leaders, I cannot attend the funeral because I cannot stop weeping.  We have been crying here for two days already, and I'm afraid I would break down and need help myself if I attended the service.  How do I deal with grief and with guilt?  They were doing what we urged them to do and it cost the life of a little baby.  I know, intellectually, that we did what we were supposed to do and must continue to do, but the combination of grief and guilt is overwhelming.  We will get past this in time, and they will, too.  In fact, they will probably deal with it better than we will over time, but there is nothing that keeps this from being nothing but raw pain at present.  Keep the family, and us, in your prayers for this is one of those situations where only God can provide the comfort we need.  Blessed are they who mourn . . .

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