Friday, October 30, 2009

And So The Wind Blows

Today was the first time I’d ever been to an African or a child’s funeral and I’d prefer if it would also be the last. There seems to be something rather disconcerting about over half of a funeral’s attendance being fellow children, but such was the case as many of her school mates, church companions, and village friends were there to pay their last respects as well as to sing many numbers throughout the funeral program. We footed (myself more literally than most) about half an hour out into the bush to the graveyard, our way being marked by the sounds of the youth choirs singing in the distance. With everyone gathered around the gravesite, messages of condolence, sympathy, and encouragement were read to the family followed by a small gospel sermon. Then the hardest part began as everyone formed a line to view the body one last time. All the while there was singing from the school choirs going on in the background so as to put as much of a damper on the sadness as possible. The choirs continued singing hymn after hymn for the majority of the 2 ½ hour program while the casket was then placed and buried and flowers were placed on the grave. As they placed flowers on the grave they started with the family, then moved to the various groups represented such as ourselves (COZV), followed by each grade level of her schoolmates and finally her teachers. As each group went forward, a flower was handed to each person, then they surrounded the gravesite and all-together knelt down and placed them on top. After concluding prayers, everyone met briefly at her village before solemnly dispersing in their separate ways

Sadly, sin, evil, and hardship will be ever-present in this life until the coming of our Savior. We will never understand the full depths of each one, like why He calls some of His children home so young, but luckily there is One who knows all and promises to “work together good for those who trust in Him and are called according to His purpose.”(Romans 8:28) His un-ending promises are what we are forced to rely on during such times and I ask you to continue to be praying for her family and friends to feel His surpassing peace and rest during this time.

“Human life is like the grass; we grow like a flower in the field. After the wind blows, the flower is gone…But the Lord’s love for those who respect him continues forever and ever.” -Psalm 103:15-17

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