This week held a lot of emotion – not just for me – but for nearly everyone on our campus. It’s not difficult to have highs and lows in Haiti and this week was full of them.
When we think about weddings – we think of the union of a groom and his bride. The “Wedding Lady” (as she’s known by) Diane Cornelius – is here in Haiti! Can you imagine living in one of the poorest countries in the world and yet having one of the biggest weddings in the country? For at least one day – they get to feel like a princess! They don’t have to think about all the problems they have in their family. They get all the joys of a state-side wedding which we often take for granted. What an honor!
Tomorrow we will have 10 brides/grooms united here in St. Louis! The cakes were made today!! There has been so much chatter about this special celebration all around town. It really means a lot to the people when they see us invest in them – to do something extraordinary on their behalf. So our emotions have run high this week as we plan for such a special celebration!
At the same time – there have been many lows. Thomas is still holding on and it has been hard to watch him suffer. He has taken a little piece of my heart that I will never get back. He continues to minister to us and to everyone he comes into contact with. He is in the maternity center right now. I watch as random people react to seeing Thomas. What love and compassion they pour on him! What value they see in a little boy like this – a boy that normally would be shunned for his disability. Yes – even in his final days – he is ministering to all of us.
One of our workers in the Miriam Center also experienced a tragedy this week. Tizzie’s son Reginald was killed. I watched this boy grow up. The hillside has been completely torn to pieces over this horrible situation. The employees have all rallied together – just as one big family does.
Last night we had a “wake” and nearly every employee was there. Watching the teenagers – these strong boys – break down and weep – it’s a horrible thing to witness. Today we had the funeral service and the church was decorated with flowers and ribbons. The ceremony was long – many songs – many speakers – and the most emotional part was watching these strong boys stand-up and sing together in honor of their fallen friend. (They were barely heard through the wailings of the people).
As I sat there at the church – I found myself witnessing a wedding of another kind. In the midst of all the wailing I found myself picturing a “wedding” where God embraces his child and says “I do” – – I do take you my precious servant! I do take you – all of you – for better or for worse – in sickness and in health – come and be united with me in Heaven. Talk about feeling like a prince or princess!! Can you imagine that day? We think of ribbons and flowers here – – there will be gold and emeralds – things of beauty that we can’t even comprehend! Just as a groom unveils his bride – – can you imagine looking into the eyes of Jesus?
I have been personally struggling with Reginald’s death for the past several days. Since I got the 2am phone call that he had died, got a truck to go and get him, and held his precious mommy that night – as she fell to the ground weeping before me.
Today though – at the service to be exact – God gave me this unsurpassing peace. He gave me a scene in my mind that I can barely even put into words. I watched as Reginald was united with his Savior.
Yes – – – this week had many highs and lows BUT God allowed me to see the beauty in two very different kinds of weddings….
Categories: Personal Stories