An end of one chapter and the beginning of many, many more.

Today we hear from Kimberly White, one of the Kasana Children’s Centre nurses. Many have been walking with a young man from our secondary school through the diagnosis of a serious medical condition. His condition deteriorated over the past month and Wizeye went to be with Jesus this Tuesday. As is the local custom, he was buried on Wednesday after a memorial service at the Kasana Church which reminded those present of the hope in Christ, even in death. Please join us in praying for his mother and two young siblings and those who knew him at New Hope.

IMG_0698There aren’t a ton of words right now.  The last couple of days have been somehow a blur.  A mixture of immensely rich moments coupled with the intensity of strong emotion.  This morning, I opted out of driving to the other side of New Hope and instead chose to walk.  I was teary in the beginning of the walk, but as I walked the pangs of emotions only intensified.  It was a walk where the tears did the mourning.  I didn’t have a bunch of words.  Just the emotions.  The pain.

It was only yesterday that I held Wizeye’s hand and told him that it was ok to go home.  I assured him that God would take care of his family.  Wizeye told me that he was going.  And a little over an hour later, he did. One minute he was there… the next he was gone.  Gone, but not forgotten.  Gone.  I talked with him one moment as I stretched out his arms.  I stepped away from his bedside to grab a quick bite.  And in those few minutes, he took his last breath.  Gone.  But not totally GONE.

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What remains are the memory of a young man full of grace. I’ve come to know him well over the last year plus.  We have had hard talks and easy ones.  We have laughed and we have cried.  My first memory of him is the time he was brought to the clinic late at night.  He had a huge cut on his head that needing suturing.  The clippers used to shave his head jammed and he was left with a haircut that was absolutely ridiculous.  He could have been angry…. could have been frustrated…. but instead, he was so gracious.  Who would have known that that interaction was the beginning of many.  Countless days, he came in for blood pressure and medication monitoring.  There were doctor visits, urgent trips to the hospital, and multiple opportunities to chat.

Over the last couple of months, his physical condition has deteriorated. It has stretched me… challenged me… and stretched me some more.  Hard questions to be asked and even harder ones to decide.  None have been answered alone.  God has led. And the peace of God has followed.  Wizeye left this world peaceful.  He left it ready.   And truth be told, it has been a day full of tears and many emotions.  But tucked underneath it, is a hope that has foundationally secured the day…. the last couple of weeks..  Wizeye you will be missed.  But we will see you again. For me, I say Sula Bulungi (good night).  But for you, my friend, I say Good Day.  Thank you for walking in faith and for finishing the race so well.