Sunday, December 19, 2010
I have thought about whether to write this now or sit on it for a few days, but my heart is telling me now, so here it goes…
If you have kept in touch with me, you are aware of this sweet little baby named Junika. She probably weighed less than 5 lbs when we first met her. Her grandmother and mother brought her to the property a few months ago asking for help because the mother was very ill. The mother went to the hospital, and died that night. Junika was a couple months old, and so little. Brittany (a missionary at Danita’s Children) had the baby go to the local hospital for analysis, and it came back saying that she was HIV positive and malnourished. The treatment: baby formula.
These past few months, Danita’s Children has helped out Junika as well as the family with formula and food. Last month when I came home, I asked if anyone would like to donate for Junika. The response was overwhelming. I was able to buy her clothes, formula, diapers, and even a bassinet.
I put the bassinet together two nights ago, and was going to post pictures of it online, but the Internet was down, so I didn’t get a chance to. I had planned on bringing her the bassinet after church today. This morning, I did not see the grandmother and Junika, and I knew something had to be a matter because the grandmother always came to church. She is a very faithful and lovely woman. At 3 o’clock, two family members came to tell me that Junika had a high fever, and the grandmother was walking her to the property to get medicine. Sweet Junika died on the walk in her grandmother’s arms.
I immediately called Karris, and asked if I could go see the grandmother. She said yes, and I was on my way with the family members and one of our older boys, Lucsaint, just moments later. It was quiet when I arrived at the home, but as soon as I stepped inside the grandmother made eye contact with me and wailed. I simply put my arm around her and said, “Mwen Pardon” (I’m sorry.) I looked to the corner of the room, and saw Junika lying on a rice sack, in an outfit I gave her just three days ago, and a blanket up to her neck. Her eyes were still open. My heart sank.
The grandmother wanted me to see her before closing her eyes. Tears started flowing from my eyes as I stroked her cheeks and kissed her tiny head. I softly said, “Mesi Jezi” (Thank you Jesus) because today He chose to relieve her from all pain and sickness. The grandmother asked me to shut the lids of her eyes, so I took my two fingers and did it at once. It was that moment that I started to weep.
I was weeping for the precious grandmother who has sacrificed so much to take care of this child. I walked over to her, and told her I wanted to pray for her. She told me she would like that. I was speechless, but the Lord spoke through me. He gave me every word I needed. He was there the whole time protecting and loving on all of us. It was amazing.
I gave the grandmother money to buy Junika a small coffin and anything else she needed. I told her to buy food for her with any money that was left over. I also had a Christmas gift for her, so I gave it to her today. It included a skirt and shirt for church, some soap, and then a cross necklace. I figured today was the best day for her to have that! She said thank you for loving her and Junika so much, and that she would see me at church on Sunday!
Junika and her grandmother have inspired me to always go above and beyond to take care of God’s precious children. They have impacted my life forever. This was the most difficult thing I have had to do since I moved to Haiti, but it is also another moment that I am grateful for. I am thankful because I know that God is going to use this moment to bring more compassion to my heart. My relationship with Him is going to be stronger because of this. There are certain things in life that you simply cannot do at all without Him. This was one of those things.
As we approach this very special week, may you be blessed beyond measure. Remember that it isn’t about the gifts, the cookies, the hectic schedules, but about giving and loving. Peace, Joy, and Love as one more sweet baby is held in Jesus’ arms tonight.
Rest in peace little one...