Wednesday, August 20, 2008

It's Times Like This...

...that make me want to pack up this second and head back to Liberia. (And ask God "why?")

I got word on Monday that a child in one of our orphanages passed away. I don't have any details, but she has been battling all kinds of illnesses since May. For those of you that recieve ORR's newsletters, she was featured in the May '08 newsletter. Massaly was 17 years old.

First, let me share her story with you...

During Liberia's civil war, her village was burned to the ground by invading rebels. Those who didn't die in the fire fled for their lives. Only two people remained in the village--an old blind man, and Massaly, who was six years old and crippled by Polio. The rebels took her captive and eventually sold her to a woman passing through for $5. The woman saved her life, but could not take care of her, so she took her to the local church. The church handed her over to the Ministry of Health & Social Welfare, which then placed her in the orphanage that she's called home since 1997. Massaly's story of survial is amazing, but her ability to adapt to life with Polio is a true example of determination. Massaly was the primary caretaker at her ophanage, where she always made sure the small children were taken care of. She was learning to sew. She was meek and always had a smile on her face. Towards the end of my time in Liberia, I knew she was weak. The last time I saw her, she was sitting outside on the front porch, trying to enjoy some fresh air--she was able to make it out of bed that day. As I talked with her, I watched her head bobble--she was almost too weak to hold it up. She still tried her best to put a smile on her face, but I knew she was suffering. Mariel spent hours and days carrying her all over Monrovia to seek out the best medical care. She was tested for everything under the sun, had multiple blood transfusions and spent weeks in the hospital. When I left Liberia, I never thought I'd come back to one less child.

When I got word about Massaly, and after the shock wore off (it still hasn't fully worn off), I found myself deeply saddened and almost angry. It's one of those "why God?" moments. Why did she go through so much and fight so hard, only to loose the battle in the end?

As I was reading the news, I was (appropriately) listning to "Whole World in His Hands" by Matt Redman.

When all around is fading and nothing seems to last
When each day is filled with sorrow
Still I know with all my heart
He’s got the whole world in His hands
Yes, I know He’s got the whole world in His hands
I’ll fear no evil for You are with me
Strong to deliver, mighty to save
He’s got the whole world in His hands

I continually have to remind myself that He does have the world in His hands. Everything that happens is a part of His plan. God is in control.

Take a second and pray for Liberia's children. Pray for provision and protection. Pray for their health. Pray for comfort. Pray that they would feel and know the love of the Father.


Angel said...

I am so sorry that she is gone. My heart aches for your loss. Angel

Raquel said...

Sorry, darlin. Gimmie a call if you want.

Clay Perry said...

tough stuff, i really like your blog.

Nikki said...

I am so, so deeply sorry.