Thursday, January 28, 2016

Mourning in the DRC

Death. It’s a dreaded word. Something we don’t like to think about or talk about. But, in this life, it can’t be avoided.

Yesterday, we received word that one of our local pastors in Lubumbashi lost his two-year-old son, Celestin. Our hearts immediately dropped. Just three weeks ago, we had worshipped with this pastor and his congregation and watched this little boy as we all gathered together for a meal afterwards. Celestin was busy grabbing food from his older brothers plate and waddling in and out of the house between play buddies; of which he had many being the youngest of 10 children.

Celestin had briefly been sick with malaria and was taken to the hospital, where he died…unfortunately; this is not a rare occurrence here.

In the DRC, when someone passes the grieving process is an important thing. Depending on how close the person was to you, you mourn and stay at the family’s house for up to 7 days. You eat there, you sleep there and you mourn together with others who knew them. You cry and wail, you sing, you pray. Grieving is very public.

As Gavin attended the burial today, it was a reminder of how short life is. While small Celestin was being laid to rest, two other families were at the same cemetery burying their loved ones.

While death brings pain and heartache and loss so deep, we cling to the hope for which we fix our eyes upon…Jesus!

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” –John 16:33

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”  -2 Corinthians 4:18

Please join us in prayer for Pastor Adolf, his wife and their nine children. May they find comfort and peace in The Comforter.

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