Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sorrow in Catel

Since Sean and I arrived, we have been treating a young woman in the village who lives in the house next to the church. We later referred her to the hospital in the capital, Bissau, after determining that her condition was deteriorating and she required care and supplies which we don’t have access to here in Catel. We had hoped that in Bissau she could receive further diagnostic testing and possibly even dialysis, which her body so desperately needed.   As Berta received treatment in Bissau, I continued to pray for her each day.
Late yesterday afternoon we got word that Berta passed away at a relative’s home in Bissau. Shortly after receiving the news we heard sounds of wailing, signaling that the rest of the village was also aware of her passing. It is customary here for everyone to go and mourn with the grieving family. The men sit outside together and the women gather in the home and wail together for hours. As the wails grew louder it became more than somber. The team prayed for Berta’s husband, 4 month old child, and the rest of her family. But as the wails continued, somehow, it didn’t seem like enough. We continued to pray that God would show us tangible and culturally appropriate ways to show our support to Berta’s family.
Hours later as we walked together from the church to the mission house in the dark, the wailing continued. Lying in bed, sleep evaded me and the sounds of the wailing, the pain of their grieving family, and the darkness which consumes many lives here penetrated my thoughts. How does one cope with such immense pain without the comfort and hope of our loving Father? How does one find the strength to carry on from day to day during such disaster without trusting their powerful and gracious God, who knows their desires, hopes and dreams, has a plan for their lives? I prayed through the night that God would reveal Himself to Berta’s family through her tragic passing and that they would find comfort, hope, and strength in him.
                Please pray for Berta’s family. Pray that they would find what they need in our loving Father. Please also pray for all the other lost souls of Catel. Pray that light would overcome the darkness. That people would stop seeking answers in witch doctors, stop repaying evil with spells, and could start finding hope, love, and forgiveness in our heavenly father. Please also pray for our team, and specifically Sean & I, that God will give us the wisdom to mend not only bodies, but to direct people to Him to heal their hearts and souls.

Prayer ARE answered, and God IS moving here.
While lying awake last night I alsoreflected upon a young man who recently came to Andre after losing his little daughter. He was requesting money so he could go to the witch doctor to find out why his daughter passed away. Often after a loved on passes the family goes to the witch doctor and pays them to find out why they passed. A people in the dark. Searching for answers. The enemy thrives off of this. Tearing apart families and friendships. Preventing any level of trust from being established. Depending on the answer, they’ll sometimes pay the witch doctor again to put a curse on the person responsible.  Andre prayed for this man and his family every morning during team prayer time, for God to speak to them and to comfort them in this time of loss, and that they would be freed from the darkness they are held captive in. Then this man returned to Andre a day last week and said that God spoke to him in a dream and said he shouldn’t go repay evil with evil. Some days the darkness here seems burdensome and heavy, like a thick veil, and it is. But our God is the God of light and truth! He defines love and faithfulness, and He is moving here in Catel.
~ Eucharisteo ~ God is good... ALL THE TIME!