life and death

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She smiled at me and begged for one more piece of strawberry cake...her eyes sparkling and her impish little grin making her head tilt just slightly to the right. She is so full of life I thought to myself.

I gave her that second piece of cake because I knew what was coming. The news I was going to give to her that would forever split her life into to two spheres: before mom died and after mom died.

After cake I watched her prance around the gazebo, singing and dancing and riding the sugar high of two pieces of cake like any four year old little girl without a care in the world. So full of life.

After watching her play a little while longer I knew we couldn't prolong the inevitable...and so we pulled her inside the living room and gently broke the news to her that her mom had passed away.

There were no tears in that moment. Just a quiet silence as the news was absorbed.

The tears came later in the night as the music of devotion time started up. Tears that left my shirt drenched with dark spots. We did a little ceremony at the end of devotions to share the news with the other kids and I carried her to the middle for the other kids to pray over her.

I watched their faces as they got up to circle around us. Faces that were serious and empathetic. Faces that conveyed they understood her loss. I watched one other girl close her eyes and pray with power...she has lost her mom and dad both in the earthquake...and it was like she knew exactly what to pray in that moment.

We walked quietly back to the little girls room for tuck in time. She cried into her pillow as I sat with her. The other girls would walk by and offer a sweet pat on the head to her. Several people scooped her up in their arms for a hug that conveyed their love for her. And finally, she was able to settle down to sleep once she joined Enolica in her bed...comfort in closeness.

After this I joined one of our other girls in her top bunk bed. It was her birthday that day and I had promised a special "just for her" birthday lullaby at tuck in time. She chose hush little baby and listened with a big grin on her face through the whole song, mouthing the words where she knew them. We talked about her favorite part of the day...playing in the water with all the kids before dinner. I told her that I had watched her pray for her friend that night and for her to keep praying and loving on her and that I was proud of what a sweet girl she was and that if she allowed Him, the Lord would use her sweet spirit to encourage others throughout her life.

Life and death.

It's ever before me here in Haiti. In a way  I've never known.

A little girl who was spared but lost both her parents in the big earthquake.
A little girl whose Momma got sicker and sicker until she finally died.

Which makes two little girls that need a life. A life where they are loved and cared for. But also two girls who offer life, in their bravery and love and sweetness and encouragement to each other that displays their Father's love for them.

For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
 1 Thess 2:9-11

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