“The Lord says, ‘I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue them and honor them. I will satisfy them with a long life and give them MY salvation.'” Psalm 91:14-16 I reflect. “I will rescue, I will answer, I am present, I will honor, I will satisfy….I will give you my salvation” I pray the Lord will awaken my heart to His words. Truly, His Word is my bread. It fills up this empty heart after a day of loss and this brokenness that looms here in this World. I ask to trust Him more, to trust His sovereignty over suffering and darkness. My last post I introduced you to Gerad. He came to us through the Rick Via Medical team. He has been suffering from a massive tumor on his left side of his body for over a year. His parents could not afford to bring him into town to see a doctor. The tumor had moved to the right side of his body.
The doctors here in Jinja immediately released him to go to Malago Hospital, which is the largest governmental hospital in the Capitol City, Kampala. Before he left the Guesthouse I stayed with him and his sweet spirit captured my heart. He just held to my hand so tightly. I gave him some new clothes and I have never seen someone who was in so much pain face lifted just for a brief moment. I held him tightly and believed with all my heart that Jesus was going to take care of him. He was so hopeful as I told him he was going to be ok. As he got into the car I told him I planned on going to visit him in just a few days.
Gerad did not make it through surgery. We all were shocked and took the news very hard. You wonder if you did everything you could? Were his last few days sweet?
One thing we know; at the medical crusade the Gospel was preached to him and his Aunt, who had brought him. He comes perfectly. They both accepted Christ. We are assured of His perfect timing. Our prayer is as we minister to his family during this situation that is all too familiar here, we will take Him with us into their grief. This is the first death I have experienced that is close to my heart here. He is sustaining and our Anchor.
As I process just all that seems to be unfair and too much grief…I am reminded of what John Piper said in His book, Suffering and the Sovereignty of God-“If we are going to emulate our Savior, we have to identify with the people to whom we take his good news. I don’t advocate that we look for suffering; life brings enough on its own. But what I do advocate is that suffering is an important prerequisite to ministering to hurting people. Christ took on our likeness and subjected himself to the suffering that plagues us.” (Saint, 121).
Uganda the suffering is thick. How will I know how to enter into this grief unless He reveals? Jesus did that for me. He loves His people so much that He subjected himself to all that we encounter here on this Earth so that He can enter into our world that seems too much and even times when He seems to be far. He is near. It’s one of the beautiful parts of the cross. He relates.
After a hard day, He encouraged our hearts with this. We also received George, who is 4 and was suffering from a severe malnutrition where his whole body was swollen and it was painful for us to touch him. When we took him to my friend Renee, with Serving His Children, we could not get him to smile or interact. He was in so much pain. I called Renee on Tuesday and asked her if we could come to her house to see George.
Renee has a ministry that she runs out of her house where she takes in children and their mothers to teach them how to nurse their severely sick children back to health. When we walked in her house there were mothers and babies everywhere. I immediately saw George’s mom but I did not see George. I asked Rennee, “Hey, where is George?” She said, “He is right there! Sitting next to his mom!” I could not believe it. I would not have believed it if I didn’t trust Renee not to lie to me. Ha! It was like she switched out two completely different children.
After 4 days…
To see his face light up made my hard day of death feel a deep sigh of relief. He does miracles still. It was so beautiful to see Jesus in George’s face and to hold him.
Holding a boy who God had breathed life into dead bones. I was holding this new life, Jesus was holding Gerad in his new life.
“Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who trust in Him! Let the Lord’s people show him reverence for those who honor Him will have all they need.” Psalm 34:8
In Him we have all we need.
Thank you for the prayers and please continue as we still have 3 babies that are undergoing surgery and treatment.