Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Funeral

You can check out the photos at:
This is the funeral I attended on Saturday. It is a long story... The father holding the baby in one of the pictures is our yard guy (he cleans our yard on Fridays). We had many people coming to the house asking to clean up the yard (they needed work, more than the yard needed cleaning)... So I said NO to about a handful before Josef came asking (and then NO to many more after). You will understand the significance of this when I finish the story!!! About a month ago he came to the door asking for some money because his wife was in the hospital and she was very sick (this was the first time he asked for anything without offering to work). So I gave him the money... I asked later if she was ok and he said yes. Then 2 weeks ago after he worked in our yard he went home to find his wife dead. He came on Saturday morning and sat at our kitchen table and told us, he was very broken up (crying). We went to his house and found that he had a 6 week old baby and an almost 2 year old as well as an older boy. So we helped them with some food and baby formula. Over the last 2 weeks we have helped with different things, and an Irish team (who came to work with CHI for a couple of weeks) left behind some money to help with anything else that came up (i.e. formula). On Thursday, Josef came asking if I could help him with one more thing, purchasing a goat to feed all of the family during the funeral time (wake, funeral, whatever). So we went out into the tully barbs and found this goat which we threw into the back of my car (alive) and took home (bleating and pooping all over the back of the car). The family seemed so appreciative of the help and I was grateful that I could. The funeral was Saturday morning and I wasn't sure if I would attend, but it seemed as though they wanted me to come, so I asked God... If you want me to go you will have to wake me up (the funeral was at 8, and I was exhausted from having 8 kids at my house all week). So sometime before 7, someone from North America called me (I don't know who... But someone, cause the display comes up NO NUMBER when someone from home calls... However, I decided it was God calling, and since I missed the call, you never know!!!). So I got up and went to the funeral (it was LONG, as they were having the funeral for 2 people... Neither one knew the other... Just random, thrown together on one day, saves time I guess!). After the funeral I drove them out to the graveyard... As they were putting the dirt into the ground Josef's sister came over and we began to talk (and this is where the story gets really interesting... And very very sad). I asked her how Milka (a woman who cleans for CHI) was related to the family. She explained that she was her husbands auntie. She said, 'she works over at that big building (MPMC) and those people from there really helped Christina (the mother who died)', I said, 'oh, how so?', she said 'well last year they took her daughter at the Ark', I said 'oh, what was her name?' (I wished I hadn't asked)... She said, 'Rosaria'... I BLURTED OUT... "WHAT?"... DO YOU REMEMBER ROSARIA? She was the little girl (9 years old) who came to the Ark after being badly beaten and raped by her stepfather?!?!?!?! I had to really calm myself down, I was kind of feeling like I should throw the father into the ground so that they could bury him with Christina. So, since I wasn't sure of the whole story I asked her to explain a little (without revealing everything I knew!)... She told me some cock and bull story (which I am kind of glad she did, because it left doubt in my mind until the funeral was over)... Then afterwards I sat and talked with Uncle Lazarus and he explained everything (including where Rosaria was living at the time... The same place)... He said the gramma was beating her (the skinny little lady by the casket holding the 2 year old) and although they had arrested Josef they let him out (I guess due to not enough evidence or something). Uncle Lazarus also said that Christina had been coming to the Ark asking for food... And the last time she came (about 3 weeks ago) he said she looked like she was starving to death. We are not sure exactly what she died from but we do know that her family ordered an autopsy and only 2 of her family came to the funeral (her parents refused to come).
Now... What are you going to do? You ask! Well, I talked to Pete (who was in just as much shock as I was, as well as just as angry)... And I explained to him... We said NO to how many yard guys and yes to this one... That was GOD! God kept us from finding out who his wife was (because Pete had met her at the Ark)... And we didn't find anything out until the lady was buried! Now what do we do? We must look at this as a God thing! This man and his family need Jesus... We have done a lot for the family and now we know a lot more about who they are, and perhaps we have more licence to speak into their lives. I don't know... I am just guessing as to why God did it this way! However, I know that he could also be teaching us a very important lesson... Something we have been struggling with since coming to Africa... And that is helping those, even those who you don't think deserve it! Would I have helped him if I had known he was the one who raped that precious little girl? NO! NO, I wouldn’t have... That's me being honest! BUT GOD... He saw things differently, through different eyes, and had us help without knowing.
Now what are we going to do? Well I have spoken with a gal from Nau aib (the black side of town), she comes to my house and cleans now... She really needed the work and Meagan was willing to give up the money and the cleaning! She is a new Christian with lots of zeal... And in sharing with her my confusion yesterday, she said "THIS MAN NEEDS TO GO TO CHURCH AND GET HIS LIFE RIGHT WITH GOD"... From the mouth of babes! She offered to translate for me (he really doesn't understand English well) and I will share with him the story(what I know)... And his need for a Saviour! You can pray that this man and his family will come to know Jesus and the death of 2 people will not be in vain. So please pray for GRACE... And PATIENCE... And LOVE... For us to give to give the gospel to this family (some of the family go to the Evangelical Lutheran church, and the sister is taking the baby home with her to Windhoek, and it seems to me that she is a Christian!?!?!). May God help us in the coming weeks!
So there is my story! It has been a very busy month and I am completely worn out, so pray for me! Pete is up north in Oshikuku helping Joe finish up the tiling at the new Ark (I text messaged yesterday and just said to Joe "Slave driver"... He sms'd back "AM NOT"... I said "are so", he said "are not"... All along he thought it was Pete sms'ing from across the Ark!!!! HAHA!! It was good to have a moment of laughter!). As I said I had 8 kids (one of the boys friends and 4 Ark kids) here at my house all week... It is school holidays and a lot of the kids got to go to relatives for a visit... So the 4 girls that were left behind I brought to my house... It was very tiring... But we had a good time together too! One day I had 11 children in my house, and I was running in and out for CHI and the funeral stuff!!! NUTS! Oh well, at least I know I am alive (I can feel it in my bones and muscles... Haha)! I have a crazy week ahead too so you might not hear much from me until the beginning of next month! :0-) Keep in touch anyway though, k?
Love to you all,

1 comment:

aneta said...

Hi Charlene! That is quite the story. I read your newsletters regularly and will pray for you at this time, for your health, and also for wisdom knowing who to help and with the situation you described. Wow. Your life is SO different from ours. We have no idea how easy our life is here. You are an inspiration. Kelly and Dakotah are back now and I'm hoping to hear their story and see pictures next week at church. Hugs!