22 June 2012

Not just a statistic

Last night at 9:38 I get a call.  We're watching "I bought a zoo".  Good thing, I needed even more of a reason to sit and stare at the TV and cry.  I push ignore, not recognizing the number.  I look at missed calls and realize it's Ruthie, our hero caring for Esna.  I shut the volume down on the TV and frantically call her, knowing this could possibly be the call I did not want.  Ruthie doesn't know much english so in the chopped up english she does know, she's able to tell me "Esna dead."  Lump in throat.  I ask her to repeat.  "Esna dead, at 9pm, I meet you in morning".  All I could spit out was "pole" (sorry in swahili) and agree I'd see her in the morning.  I hang up.  Keela, Anna and I sit and cry.

The injustice of how a life suffers is beyond comprehension sometimes.  A million questions race through my head.  I look for every reason to blame everyone.  I get on Facebook to let friends know and would like to just scream at some ridiculous status' like about there not being enough starbucks in their town.  Grace, patience, no judgements, just love.  We need more love Jesus.

Esna became a statistic.  But this statistic has a name, a face, a hand we held, a face we wiped blood from, matted hair we stroked our fingers through, swollen legs we rubbed... a statistic that someone will just document another tally on their chart to report to some major NGO, is a life that we loved however we could in the short time we had with her.

Want to know who the least of these is that Jesus says to love?  One of them was Esna.  She was 19 so there was no hope of her being placed in a children's home.  She had a baby so she couldn't beg someone to sponsor her to go to any type of training school.  She felt she had no other option but prostitution.  Forced into prostitution for food.  FOR FOOD.  Read that right?  And the same disease that she watched her mom suffer and die from last year was now taking her life.  Another statistic.

We will keep living to go and save those out there like Esna in hopes that we can get to them before they surfer like she did.  Why didn't Jesus heal her here and raise her from the dead?   I don't know.  I know He can.  I do know that I won't stop going and laying my hands on the sick like he tells us to do, having faith they will recover.  My only hope is anchored in Jesus, knowing she is experiencing peace and love in the purest form ever in her life.  Like my husband said to me last night, we thank God she didn't die alone in the rat infested mud shack.  She died loved, with a little dignity restored.  I'll never forget the second day she was in the hospital.  She was able to still mumble words to us and communicate.  Before we left, we prayed and I asked her if she knew Jesus and she groaned a yes.  I told her how much we loved her and Jesus loved her even more.  I asked if she knew that and she responded with a blank stare.  I repeated it several times until I knew she knew what I was communicating.  She finally responded that she knew what I was saying.

The day before yesterday (Wednesday), Anna, Keela and I visited her for what we did not know was the last time.  On Monday we had gone and it was the worst day, watching her suffer in pain.  We all three felt so sick to our stomachs leaving the room.  The air was thick and tense.  But Wednesday when we left, Keela pointed out how peaceful the room felt.  None of us felt sick and were at peace.  I had clipped her massive toe nails and put socks on her cold feet.  We all laid hands on her and prayed.  It was a peaceful way to last remember our sweet sister.  We'll meet again in heaven though.  I'm in tears imagining what it'd be like for her to suffer all she did and then to get to be in heaven where there's no pain or suffering.

Now we are entrusted with the next generation.  Her daughter, Blessing, is now placed in a forever family at Mattaw.  I have great joy knowing that Jesus has broken the cycle in their family generation.  No more sickness, disease, or poverty.  Blessing is restored into a family where God will fulfill the future he has for her life, plans to prosper and not harm her.  So much hope in one little life whose name just happens to be Blessing.


Donna Clark said...

I'm so sorry Kimberly but Gods ways are so above our ways. I do,know he loves us with a everlasting love and for that I am so grateful. Esna is at peace,now ,with Jesus forever. Blessing is beautiful and now in a safe place. Love ya

Anonymous said...

Praying for you all.

NeNe said...

I'm impressed with the thought that in Blessing's case He allowed you to see more of the story of her life in His big and beautiful tapestry. It's like you were able to " un-zoom " the lens and step back and see and "be" His hand of mercy to more than one generation. It's a hard and sad story but one that you'll hold in your heart as you watch Blessing flourish. And you'll simply have more reason to praisle His name.

Susan said...

This is Courtney's mom. Know that you all are in my prayers as you work each day to bring Jesus' love and blessings to those around you. I am so sorry about the death of sweet Esna. How precious that her baby girl will have a better life and know the love of our Saviour through all of you.
Thank you for the impact you had in Courtney's life. We have loved hearing all the stories from her 3 weeks there and seeing the pictures of the precious children at Mattaw. I hope I get the privilege of meeting you one day.
Love and prayers,
Susan Palmer

Kali Daniel said...

Thank you for sharing. For putting her face and story on a statistic. It isn't just a number, they all aren't just numbers but people. I am being challenged that God sees them - every number that is a person, why don't we?!
You see them, and are loving them. I think the part I loved the most was about you cutting her toenails! What a beautiful thing to do.
I'm praying for you.

Denise Rainwater said...

Oh Kim, I am saddened by this news, but so grateful that Blessing is at Mattaw and Esna is in the presence of God and left this world knowing she was loved and her daughter was cared for. Please let the children know that we made it safely back to Florence, SC and give them my love.

Denise Rainwater (Florence, SC mission group member)

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