Tuesday, March 15, 2016

“Watching someone you love die is like watching sunlight fade from the sky, and being powerless to stop it. The only thing you have a choice in? How you deal with it…when it does.” ― Rachel Van Dyken

While I know that we are living in a developing country that is one of the world’s poorest countries, one that is rife with corruption, poverty, malaria, AIDS, and where the life span is in the mid forties, I sometimes forget that what would be a routine medical problem that could be solved even without insurance is often fatal here.  I first met Edina when we were building our assembly hall (the first building on the grounds).  She was bringing water and splashing it on the new plaster so it wouldn’t dry out and crack.  At the time, our land was a furrowed potato field and she offered to flatten all the furrows for $10 (almost an acre).  She did it in just two days, and I gave her $40 and offered her a full-time job.  Every tree, bush, flower, shrub, and the grass that covers the ground was selected and planted by her.  She has been with us for eleven years during which time she lost her husband and two children.  She hasn’t been able to work here for weeks and apparently has congestive heart failure.  We will continue to pay her as long as she lives, but we don’t know how much longer that is going to be.  We have lost good workers before mostly because of greed.  They thought they could make more money elsewhere and always failed.  We hated to lose them but understand in a poverty culture that there will be a desire to be rich—something that we cannot make happen for them.  We have loved Edina every day since she first began here, and she has loved us.  We have helped educate her children, the last being a girl who has just finished her Bachelor of Science in Nursing.  She has come to work countless times while sick with malaria, and we have had to send her back home.  We have seen to it that she has seen doctors and gotten medication, but there are some things that we just can’t fix.  She is a devout Christian who would ask for time off (always granted) for special church services and women’s church events.  Her smile (see picture at the right) could brighten every day no matter how rainy or gray.  I’m just no good at waiting while someone I love is slowly dying and there is nothing left for me to do.  Everywhere I look here, I see her loving touch in the flowers, neatly trimmed hedges, the sweet potato project, and the tall, tall trees providing shade and beauty that she planted as seedlings.  Maybe that’s how God felt when He looked at where His children were going and sent His only son to save us.  Yet, still we stray and God can only watch, perhaps shedding a tear or two for those of us who just won’t see the blessings He is offering.  Our comfort is in knowing not where she’s been but where she is going.  No pain, no suffering, and only joy and peace in the arms of her savior.  We ask for your prayers for her that the next few miles along her road of life will not be filled with pain and suffering and that she will have peace and calm knowing that she is God’s.  She will be remembered here as long as the flowers bloom and the trees continue to grow, but a part of our hearts will be gone forever.  I guess we need your prayers, too.
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