Monday, January 21, 2013

The Death of a 4 year old African Orphan

On August 27, 2012 my wife and I boarded a plane to come live in Eldoret, Kenya to work as house parents at an orphanage with an organization called Children With Hope. We were very nervous and excited. It would be our first time to live in another country, and of course a Third World Country. We knew that this is what we were supposed to do, and could not wait to arrive.

Once we arrived, we were thrilled to meet all of the children that would come to call us mom and dad. One of these children in particular stuck out. We met a child named Job. I guess you could say that Job could be the "poster child" for any African infomercial. Job was malnourished as a child. The affects of this caused Job to have a distended stomach. So Job was a 4 year old orphan with a distended stomach. I don't know why, but for some reason Job seemed to be drawn to us. We felt a connection with all of the children. But especially Job; every time Job would see us, he would smile and walk up to us. He constantly wanted to sit in our lap and hold our hands. Job was filled with love. He had the most gentle spirit out of any child I have ever met.

It was our 5th day here, and that night was pretty typical. Job fell asleep in his crib that night, just like he always did. Sadly, once Job fell asleep, he would never wake up again. That morning we woke up just to find out the terrible news. The rest of the day was filled with tears. Nobody could have done anything; Job had been in and out of doctor's offices. The director here did everything possible. The bottom line was that God was calling Job home. We had only been here 5 days, but Job had already become such a big part of our new lives. I mean, what can prepare you for that? I figured we would be hit with cultural shock, and I knew we would have a lot of obstacles to overcome. But this was just not fair. It was to much. I guess it never occurred to me that when taking this job as a house parent, I might have to deal with the death of a child. it was really hard for my wife and I to deal with.

Although Job's life was unfair and filled with pain and discomfort, God still had a purpose for him. Job showed us how fragile life can be. Job showed us love from the first moment he saw us. He showed us how we were going to have to love all of the other children that we would come to know. Job was such a gift from God, and we were so blessed to be able to meet him! We still talk about Job from time to time. One thing is for sure, we will always remember Job. He is a constant reminder that every child we have here at the orphanage is precious, and needs to be loved every day. I know that we can't wait to reconnect with Job in heaven!

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