Today I went to the funeral of a little girl, just a week old. She did not have a name, and her tiny casket is something I will not soon be able to take out of my mind. I am reminded of this world we live in, where the wages of sin is death. Death is no respecter of persons, age, race, color, status. Our friends, Cristaan and Nelda, have been trying to have children for quite some time. They have been through several previous miscarriages and still births. This conception was going well, until two weeks ago. Nelda was due in April, but was admitted to the hospital due to complications. There was an emergency C-Section and the baby was delivered last Tuesday, January 24th. I was blessed to be present at the hospital just after the birth, where we talked and prayed with and for Christaan, Nelda, the baby and family, and we worshipped God through scripture and song. It was a beautiful time of being the Body of Christ. Here is a picture of Nelda's mother, friends (both named Melody), and Christaan and Nelda at the hospital after Nelda's surgery:
Nelda remained at the hospital with their baby. The baby was having some difficulty with rapid breathing, the next day she appeared to be doing better, but was battling jaundice. Later this yesterday, she passed away. Christaan called this morning with the news. My heart was so sad. Yet I know God is even in this time of sorrow. We prepared a meal for the family and joined them at Christaan and Nelda’s house to pray and sing. They brought the baby and there was a short “viewing” at the home, then we walked to the cemetery for the burial. Todd (one from our team) shared some scripture from Isaiah 40, and a short message explaining how this world we live in will always bring death, but Jesus offers life beyond death, through His payment on the cross. He exhorted those there to recognize our need for Christ’s payment for our sin. We worshipped. It has been so humbling and joyful to see Christaan’s heart through all of this. The cry of his heart is that God’s Name be glorified in whatever happens. Even while experiencing the complications last week, during a Bible study he began leading at his house, he presented the gospel to a young man there who put his trust in Jesus for salvation. Hearing Christaan’s joy over a brother being saved, even while feeling the uncertainty of his own situation, was such beautiful evidence of the work of God in his life.
This week has been full of ups and downs and I covet your prayers for the team. There is great evidence that the team itself is under attack and we need prayer that we stay steadfast and strong under His protection.