Monday, June 29, 2015
This is Madalena. Madalena has been one of the regular members/leaders in the Lalonga church for a while now. She leads most of the singing and handles all of the offerings, and a few times when the pastor was out of town, she even told the Bible story. Madalena also comes with us to another village, Lacharok, every week because she wants to participate in the Bible study there and sometimes brings some grain to sell.
One Tuesday I went to Lalonga to meet with Paul. I found his house empty, he had gone to Kapoeta to sell his bamboo. Since Paul wasn’t around I walked up to Madalena’s house to visit and ask if she knew about Paul’s plans for returning. Nobody had heard from Paul but they told me that Madalena’s husband was sick. Madalena’s husband was living in Torit and working for the fire brigade. He had three wives (and one who died from a snake bite) and took great care of all three of them. I had only met him a few times when he came to thank me for helping his wife get out to sell her grain.
The symptoms seemed like malaria, he had a fever and was sweating and dizzy, but it seemed advanced, like he’d been sick for a long time. I gave him some malaria medicine that I had in my bag and I took him to Lohutok to visit the clinic. After they had been at the clinic for two days, Madalena came to my house at 10:00pm on a Wednesday night and told me that her husband had died. I drove them back to Lalonga with the body in the back of the pickup and they buried him that night.
I’m writing this newsletter four days after the husband’s death. Today we went to Lalonga for worship but Paul was still gone. I thought that meant we wouldn’t meet since there was no preacher who spoke Lopit, but I was wrong. We went to Madalena’s house where the funeral was still in full effect. There were at least fifty people sitting around her house mourning. Madalena called everyone over to sit around her, led some singing, and told the story of Genesis 1-3. Then she preached the gospel. At her own husband’s funeral.
Pray for Madalena and her children as they adjust to life without the husband to provide for them.
Pray that God would provide godly examples for their children and that they would have the food and things they need to live.
Justin, Amy and Ezekiel