A birth, then new birth, a double death, and then yet another birth.
The Harsh Reality
Back in the days when we lived in P-land, we were always amazed at the rough conditions that expectant mothers endured for child birth.
These pregnant women simply gave birth on the dirt in a little hut without an attending physician, nurse, midwife or pediatrician. There were always older women around to help and give support, but the birth happened in very dirty conditions. They could deliverer in the light of day or in the darkness at night. It could happen during a violent wind and rain storm, or during the suffocating heat of the noon hour. There was no clean water, pain relievers, soap, nor any provision for emergencies. And yet during our many years of living among the people, hundreds of little ones were brought safely into this world.
(In time things got a little better as we were able to provide materials that would make this easier like flashlights, clean fabric, something clean to cut the umbilical cord, soap, medicines, and emergency flights out for additional help)
And then little Marilu was born (pictures below). No, they didn’t name her at birth but rather quite a few months later. And it wasn’t actually the parents who named her but rather they asked us to give her a name. And so we named her just like we had a lot of the kids there. And we had the joy of watching little Mari grow up as she lived in the village closest to us. She was full of life and mischief, a really fun little gal.
And after a time she became old enough to search for food with her mom. We would often see her going past our house with her digging sticks or a machete, along with her basket over her head. And then the time came when a marriage was arranged for her. And so as a young lady, she now had a husband (pictures below).
And after many years of marriage, dear little Mari was now the mother of four children. And not only that but she was also a child of Light, for she had come to understand the glorious message of what Jesus did for her on the cross. Yes, she put her faith in his completed blood-death payment on her behalf, as had her husband Dapjai, along with her parents and most of her siblings.
And then it was time to deliver number five.
The Sad News
But number five didn’t make it. The little one died. And dear Mari died as well. We heard about it a short time ago because out coworkers received a note sent from Mari’s husband with a visitor who had visited their remote area. He wanted to be sure to let us know that his beloved wife and child were in the ground, as they say. Yes, it was sad to receive this news….BUT HOW WE REJOICE that the Gospel of Jesus Christ arrived there in time for Mari and for so many others! Yes, they died having huge non-disappointing HOPE in the Substitute Payer!
The Happy News!
While we were saddened with the death of Mari and her fifth child, and feeling for our dear brother Dapjai, the Lord gave us a new granddaughter! What joy she has brought to all of us already! And my goodness, what a different place our daughter gave birth in compared to where Mari gave birth. How thankful we are for the great blessings that we have here in our land.
- for little Sophie, that she grow up to know Jesus as her Savior and bring God much glory throughout her life
- for the comfort and encouragement of Dapjai, along with her parents and siblings who also mourn her death
- for continued open doors in our beloved Host Country, and that God’s will be done there. Yes, from a human perspective things look so impossible but then we know that with God ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE
- for the P nation, that they continue to walk in truth, and increase in their love and worship of the Savior
- for their continued faith and rest in their Lord Owner Boss God for all their physical and spiritual needs
- for continued wisdom in preparing Bible lessons for the P believers, and for a possible rendezvous with the saints if the Lord opens the way for us to get down there once again
- praise that my new cornea part continues to function well without being rejected. The Doc tells me that once you have it for two years, rejection doesn’t happen, and then he will be ready to do the other eye. Thanks for your prayers in this area
- for our many national coworkers in our very broken country of service, who continue to serve under very trying and stretching circumstances
- for many more missionary laborers who will join forces to work with our Missionary God to see the Unreached People Groups of the world reached. Check out this video from one of our pastors: https://vimeo.com/228755241
Thanks so much for being a part of the team that is working together to see multiple NT churches planted in P-land. Your partnership is much appreciated and we thank God for all of you.
Rejoicing in the God of Daniel that rules supreme over the nations of the world,
Merrill and Teresa