I don't think I've talked about Michael on the blog, but he's been in my newsletters and on the ORR blog. You can read more about Michael on the ORR blog--here and here. First of all, thank you to everyone who was praying for him! When I woke up on Wednesday, I was greeted with, "did you hear about Michael?" I said no, and then was told that he had passed away in his sleep in the early morning hours. He died from complications from Hepatitis B--his liver was failing, and he probably lost too much blood. Michael was 18 years old, but he had more faith than me. I visited him in the hospital on Tuesday and he told me that he was praying to walk out of the hospital on Sunday. He also told me that if God calls him Home, then that's fine too. He had peace with life or death; he fully trusted in God. Michael had so much courage and strength. He was an example to us all. We will miss his smile and laugh, but I know that he is in a much better place and his body is whole again!
Nearly two years ago, we lost Massaly. Two children from the orphanage that I was at when I first came to Liberia have been killed. That's 4 children. Dead. Gone. There are so many stages to grief--shock, sadness, guilt, confusion, frustration, anger-- and so many times when all that you can do is ask why. I don't understand how someone can be so faithful, and yet God can still choose to take him away. I really hoped and believed that Michael would walk out of the hospital on Sunday, but he left the hospital early. He went Home. Michael's body was buried on Thursday night, but Michael's smile and faith and courage will continue to inspire and challenge.
I had a peace about Michael's death on Thursday night, as I was in church singing "God of Wonders." It hit me. I was singing about the universe declaring His majesty, and realized that Michael was in the presence of God! And I thought I was the one worshipping, HA! Michael was having a party! I could only smile.
You give and take away, blessed be your name!