Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Loss

My heart is heavy today.

Less than two years ago, I wrote this about William and Stella, when they lost their first pre-term baby at 7 months.

Since then, Stella has had two more miscarriages.

And Sunday, she lost yet another pre-term 7 month baby. Apparently the baby was feet down and was vigorously kicking which caused contractions. Her womb opened up and the baby was born. He was over 3 pounds, but only lived a few minutes. In the process of all this, Stella was given multiple blood transfusions, one of which was the wrong blood type.

I have only met Stella once but see William almost every day, since he is the head janitor at HOPAC. He is a man that is full of joy and friendliness and helpfulness and smiles. He is committed to the Lord and missional and evangelical. He is a blessing to all who know him.

I am heartbroken for William and Stella and their terrible, terrible losses. I am heartbroken by the despair that must tempt them.

But what makes me even more sad is that this is not unusual in Tanzania. William and Stella's loss reaches into my heart because I know them, but what about the countless other Tanzanian women who experience this daily? Stella's first baby most likely would not have died with American healthcare. I would imagine that this baby would not have died with American healthcare. Her body obviously has trouble carrying babies to term. But will she ever get the treatment she needs to help that problem? And truthfully, with all of her hemorrhaging, she is lucky to be alive. Many times we have heard of women who die in childbirth in this country. I have never heard of a woman dying in childbirth in America.

I grieve for the unfairness of it all.

I mourn for the pain of a mother who has lost four children, for her arms that are once again going home empty.

I believe in a good God who has all things under His control, and this is not excluded. But I yearn for the Day when all things will be made right again, when there will be no more sorrow or pain or babies dying--that Day when William and Stella will get to meet their four lost children.

But until then, I pray that things will change in this country I have come to love. Since there is so little I personally can do to make a difference, I pray that our students will. America is not the Promised Land. But at least mothers don't have to fear dying in childbirth. At least 3 pound babies have a good chance of survival.

Imagine it was you, and pray for them today.
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