First thing this morning I get a text message, “Barely alive”! This text came from the new doctor, Olen. For almost three weeks now Danae and Olen have been taking care of a premature baby that had a 16 year old mother that died with complications during delivery. The family considered taking the baby but had no way of feeding the baby. The family told Olen that they would give the baby water and then the baby would eventually die. Wanting to give the baby a fighting chance at life, Danae and Olen agreed to take the baby and feed it for up to 6 months and even adopt the boy if the family did not want him. I have been watching the baby 2-3 days a week while they go to the hosp ital to work. The baby has been doing really good and even beginning to take more formula the last time I watched him. Then all of a sudden he started up with a slight fever and got sick. He was tested positive for malaria and was started on an IV with quinine. But he just didn’t seem to be getting better. Then some blood started in his stool. The night before the text, Olen went over to the hospital to read up on what could be the problem. He is pretty sure that it is Necrotizing Enterocolitis, which is the intestines dying.
Second text, “Died. Can you come”? I hurried up and got dressed and ran over to their house. Olen was just sobbing leaning over the baby. It was the saddest thing to see and also understand how a person can get so attached to the children here. I was thinking about the love I lost December 15th when 2 year old Exode died when he fell in a well. The pain of loosing someone is real and there is a gamble you take when you reach out to love here. And I say here because we know more people that have died here than all my life in the states. It just seems like life is so fragile here. Just two weeks ago Jamie made his first casket for a lady who went to the Adventist church here in Bere. Jamie also made the casket for the baby to take him to the father’s village. It was sad to see such a small box of life that had so little time to live, but he was truly loved in his short 3 weeks of life.
So we got the car together and took the baby to his father’s village way out in the middle of no where. If you have seen pictures of Bere and thought that we are out in the middle of no where well this is still further out. I don’t even know how the people survive out there. As soon as we get there we are greeted by about five men that were awaiting our arrival. As soon as we start walking on the small trail to the house we begin to hear the wailing. This is a sound that I will never become numb to, something I will never get use to. The way the people grieve here brings chills to me. It is so overwhelmingly sad. All of us are now moved with tears. Danae carries the baby to the mother of the father and the grandmother begins pouring out her cries to God as she begins to take the blankets off that Olen so carefully wrapped him in. After some time the grave has been dug right in front of the house. They are not going to bury him in the casket we brought. They told us that they do not do that for children and just put a piece of straw mat under and on top of him and then the dirt.
Olen brought a French bible and shared some thoughts with everyone. Then he gave the bible to the father of the baby. Thoughts run through my head on why these things happen as I see the bible go from one hand to the other. Then the father asks what Olen thinks he should read first so Olen shared some texts he thought he could start with. God has a plan, He wants as many souls with Him in heaven that He can get. Loosing a life here during the short time we have here on earth is better then loosing a soul. We went away that day with a feeling of sadness but also hope that maybe planting that bible way out in the middle of no where will turn into a blessing that we will only know about when we get to heaven.