Today, a young mother lost her child.
She was found alone yesterday morning, in the back of a new community that Pastor Mackenzy is working in. 20 years old, her baby is young and had a fever to go with his orange hair and lack of energy. She is living not only in an area that is described as having “anpil bezwen” – a lot of need – but she is also alone.
The father left when she was six months pregnant, and she is not with sisters, friends, parents, or other family. This is so unique in this culture that it makes the isolation seem even more alienating.
The team worked through Pastor Mackenzy to immediately rush this mother and her baby, seeming to be clinging to life, to the hospital. Typical of hospital trips, there was bouncing around. The nearest hospital for a shot for fever, then immediate referral to Port-au-Prince for more intense treatment due to the level of need. An overnight stay. A phone call for an update on more needs in the morning…
and then a phone call to update that the baby did not make it past 3:00 am this morning.
The news is devastating. We cannot imagine the mother’s sweet heart in this moment.
However, we get to live in the economy of “but” and “instead.”
This IS devastating. I especially, not a mother yet, cannot imagine the pain. But we know that she is not alone. We know that God knew and He knows. We know that this was not an “oops” in the grand scheme of eternity.
An injustice, with malnutrition and inadequate health care? Definitely. But never an oops.
And then there is the “instead.”
Why are we a church planting movement? With so much need, why bother with the establishment of house churches, or focusing on disciple making, or biblical leadership?
For this very moment.
Humanitarian aid, while good hearted, would stop here. The mother, rushed to the hospital and walked through the process with those who helped get her there, would now return home. Alone. To the empty home, the one that felt especially isolated. She would be in the back of the community where she was found. She would be mourning as we moved to the next need to fill.
Instead. What a beautiful word.
Instead, she has been brought into family.
Pastor Mackenzy and his wife Nadine can come alongside of this mother. Nadine, a young woman herself, can come and both comfort and mentor this younger woman. Connections may be made to even more people in the community that Mackenzy has been building relationships with. The network of support that has been growing with every visit that Mackenzy makes into this community can be called and informed – there is a hurting heart, it’s time to be the church.
What a beautiful, beautiful instead. The story is not finished here. Instead – maybe it has just begun.
Please keep Vetilia in your prayers, as well as Pastor Mackenzy and Nadine as they come alongside this community.
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