A few hours ago Tenwek had a goodbye party for me. It was a lot of fun to see everyone together - I heard that there were 49 people. It is hard to believe that I have only been here for 6 months. I have built friendships here that will last a life time. I enjoyed the time together but it was also sad, when my friends were talking about how helpful I was here and proceeded to pray for me and my future I almost cried. I kept my farewell words short for fear I would start to cry. Those of you who know me well know that I do not cry often.
Writing this now I am crying, for a few reasons it is 130am and I am tired, the evening was emotional draining, as well as an emotional goodbye party, I just got back from the hospital where a baby just died - despite intubation, epinephrine and CPR ,we could not get this baby back. This is not just any baby this was the son of a staff member I have seen her many times in the last few months waddling around with her pregnant belly. I don't know the lady's name, but as I was doing CPR in the nursery at 1am I cried for this mama. When I and the doctor explained to the mama that despite our best efforts her son was gone she cried, as did I.
I am saying goodbye to my friends and community here at Tenwek but that grief is nothing compared to the pain this mama is going through. As I walked down the hill I asked a question that I know has been asked many times before. Why God? Why does this mama have to say goodbye so soon to this child she barely got to know.
I wish I had a good answer to this I have heard a few different ones throughout my life. We must understand that evil is in this world. Satan is present and knows how to hit us the hardest and where it hurts. Is not God more powerful than Satan? Could He have not saved this baby? I know God could have but evil will not be totally gone from us until we reach Heaven. God has also already rescued this baby just like he has rescued all of us, on the cross He died for us. We celebrate this in a few weeks at Easter and the promise of everlasting life will be complete when we are with Him in Heaven.
I stopped writing this on Sunday morning at 2 am, and went to bed, I am resuming this post the following Saturday. Last Sunday was a busy Sunday with saying goodbye at church, Sunday school, helping a friend with bible quizzing and youth group. Through this time I thought about what I had written in this post. Writing was therapeutic for me at 2am and then came the question can I finish this post and publish it or does it ask questions that should not be asked.
I don’t like the latter part of this question I believe in God and his sovereignty, his love, his grace and his power. If I believe this how can I be scared to tackle this question? I do not have any formal biblical education so I don’t know how I can answer it but I after some thoughts and discussion with a friend here are some thoughts (in addition to the ones that were previously mentioned). I was given a book by a friend EPIC by John Eldridge, I was reading this on my flight home (yes I am back in Alberta I will blog about reverse culture shock later) he talks about how everyone’s life is a story, and we don’t know how it will go but God does and he has wonderful things planned for us.
It is hard to imagine something good coming out of the loss of a newborn but I do not know the end of this story God does. God also gives us peace to get through the hard times. God wants us to come to him with our struggles. Me asking this question is pulling me closer to God. God knows the big picture, I don’t. Does this answer the question? It is possible that my former English teachers would fail me for a poor argument. However I know through faith that Jesus is Lord and that he loves us and there is an eternal reward in which the sufferings of the world will no longer matter.