Today, in the teenage girls class, we finished up our class on how to overcome temptations. Their honesty and frank questions were very inspiring and humbling for me. At times I am not sure who is teaching whom, but am very grateful for the opportunity to share in their lives. Our next topic (at their request) will be on being obedient and respectful to our parents and elders. Please pray that I will understand and represent God’s will clearly in this most difficult of topics.
This afternoon was also my turn to lead the ladies’ monthly study. Using Colossians 1:10-14 as our theme Scripture, we discussed how we can be strengthened, what that strength looks like in our lives, and to what purpose we are strengthened in this life. It was a difficult class to teach for me, as I was using examples from my life that were both very personal and very painful, but all to the glory of God who gives me strength every day! Lynn made cookies for the ladies, and they loved them. I am not sure if they wanted his cookies or my lesson more! I enjoyed a couple of the cookies myself, and they were delicious! I was telling Lynn that when I cannot remember much about my class that is when I know that it was a good lesson, because God was in control of my mind and my mouth, and He always gets it right! I don’t remember much of the lesson, so I think it must have been good.
Then the lesson for the day really started!
On the way home I stopped to give a sister, Erica, who could not attend the study, a copy of our Scripture outline. As I was leaving an Indian couple passed by the car – the man in front about 20 paces (as is normal), followed by the woman. The man was carrying a baby and said good afternoon to me, so I returned the greeting with a smile. Then the woman came up almost even with me and began yelling at me to not speak to her husband; that he was taken and I had no business trying to take her man! I was flabbergasted, and she was drunk as a skunk. I was saying good bye to a friend visiting Erica and he said “ Wow! She was really drunk!” I agreed and went on to the truck and toward the house thinking how sad that was.
As I approached our house I saw another Indian couple, and they saw me and started toward me. I had the intention of hurrying into the gate and getting away before they could reach me. I was still thinking about the drunk lady I had encountered and did not even look at them as I almost ran for the gate. The man called out and I resigned myself to speak to him for only a moment. I was tired and ready to change clothes and relax.
I recognized the man as the father of three of the students at Caña Blanca, so felt more at ease as he approached me. I noticed that his wife stayed where she was. I shook his hand and asked how he was. He said ‘bad’. I aked why and he told me in choking sobs that his wife had just had a C-section, and they had lost the baby. Now they were about 5 kilometers from home, walking only hours after the surgery and with the weight of having lost their child. He could find no-one to help them and asked if we could take them to their home. I said of course, and went to get Lynn.
In case you do not remember previous comments about the road to Caña Blanca, it is a terribly rough and rocky road. Lynn and I both feared the pain the ride would cause the woman, but that physical pain was nothing compared to the heart anguish both parents felt. It was heart- breaking to hear them cry and him try to console her. As he could, he shared with us that they had to leave the baby at the morgue because they did not have the money or a vehicle to take him to be buried, that no-one would help them in their suffering until they saw us and they knew that we would help. (remember I was doing my best to avoid them earlier – I asked God’s forgiveness more than once, and pray that I never get so into my own desires that I allow an opportunity to show God’s love to pass unnoticed)
So, take a moment and place yourself (if you can) in this woman’s shoes; you have carried this child in your body for 9 months. You leave your children to go hours away to the ‘good’ hospital with every expectation to return with babe in arms the next day. But something goes wrong and you are told you need a cesarean then when you wake up a few hours later you are told that your child is dead and your husband is waiting to take you home. You know that you live in the mountains miles from any bus, so you take the bus as far as you can then begin the walk to your home and family still several hours away and a few hours after major surgery and losing your child.
Can you imagine this? It is life here for the Indians.
Does it cause you pain? Does it make you wonder if you are doing all you can to help God’s people? Does it move you? It should. It does me. It hurts me deeply. I am so ashamed of who I can be at times. There is so much more to do. Pray that we can do it, and then help us do it. Come down or support our benevolent work. But first pray. God is our only hope in helping. We (all of us) can only be His hands - and then only if we see and follow His direction.
A day of lessons – one that I will not quickly forget, and one I pray that you will not quickly forget either.