Saturday, April 07, 2007

My Son, My Son! My Only Son!

In Memory of Baby David Lopez

It was Easter week. I will never forget it. We had only been in the village for about a year. I had made friends with one indian lady, Linda, as she was one of two women in the village that spoke a little Spanish. Her husband , Antonio, was the school teacher in the village. He had been born and raised in the village of Acanaña and had been trained by missionaries there. He had also been sent to town to receive a high school education. Other than our two indian foster children, he was, perhaps, one of the most educated indians of the tribe at the time.

They had flown out to town a couple of months earlier so that Linda could be near a hospital to give birth to her fourth child. She had only just returned to the village a few days before with her three week old son. Her first son, as her other children were girls. Her only son, as they had performed a tubal ligation on her at the hospital. She came to the house and proudly showed him to us. Antonio would be flying back in on a separate flight the following week.

On Saturday, she came to us in the morning ,on her way to her garden. She said the baby had been fussing a lot the night before. My husband checked him out, but all seemed fine. Clear lungs, no mucus, no fever, good heart rate! He was a cutie who was beginning to smile!

She continued on with the baby to her garden to get food for the family. That evening she arrived back at the house. It had rained that day, she and the children were soaking wet. The baby was feverish. When Clint listened to his lungs, I knew we were in trouble just by the look on his face. His temperature was at 104.

We began to do all we could for the baby with the limited tools available to us. He had developed double pneumonia in about 12 hours. Unfortunately, we had no oxygen in the village. We had penicillin, but not the fast acting, injectable which is the preferred treatment.

As the evening wore on, the baby began to struggle to breathe. We had called out by radio to have the plane ready to fly out for the patient first thing in the morning, if he was able to make it through the night. The missionaries in town had found the father, Antonio, and he was prepared to receive his son. The missionaries had arranged for an ambulance to be at the airport. IF the baby survived the night.

Around mid-night, we almost lost him! Clint began CPR, and was able to get him to breathe again. But...about an hour later, he stopped breathing and we repeated the process again. He had a weak pulse but once again began to breathe on his own.

This happened more times than I can remember. My husband wore himself out trying to breathe for the small baby. We had to take turns breathing the breath of life into the child. We did this for hours.

Any doctor will tell you, you should not do this! CPR is meant to be used for a short time only until medical help can be reached or the paramedics arrive. BUT...there was no medial help and we were the paramedics!

Around 4 am, Clint was breathing for the child and I felt the babies pulse, slowly falter, lighter and lighter, until...nothing. Clint's eyes were on my face as he also felt the life slip away.

Linda also realized the exact moment her son died. She did not understand what Clint and I were saying to one another, but she knew!

She stood and began to cry out, "My son! My son, my only son!" I went to her , to try and comfort her. She sobbed all night in my arms. "My little son!"

Clint had laid the baby down and asked for someone to help him. But the indians are terrified of dead bodies and at that time would not touch a corpse.

The Ye'kwana often would take a dying person out into the jungle so that they would die there alone and away from the village. If someone dies in a house, no one would live in the house afterwards. They would hire the Sanema tribe to bury the body for them so that they would not know where it was. This is due to their fear of the spirits.

Antonio and Linda were Christians though. Once we realized no one would help with the baby, Clint went out and built a tiny casket all by himself. He only had a battery powered flashlight and hand tools. I wrapped the baby in a soft cloth and comforted Linda and my own small children who had watched and heard it all.

The other indians all sat around and wailed the death chant ...all night. They were very concerned that we had the body in the house with us. But where should we put him? It was a dark, rainy night in the jungle.

The next morning we informed the pilots by radio that we had lost the patient but to please fly the father out to the village anyway. The men in the village had begun to dig the grave. We were only waiting for the father to arrive for the burial.

When Antonio came in on the flight, they left immediately for the grave sight. Antonio and Linda had become Christians through the ministry of the missionaries in their village. They wanted a christian burial for their son.

Remember, now, it is Easter Sunday morning. As he placed the small casket into the cold, dark, muddy hole he began to preach!

He told them all that he was very sad to lose his only son. His heart hurt! But...he would see his child again!" Yes," he said. "I know that the Son of God, Jesuquiriitu, has taken my son to be with Him in heaven! His body is here in the ground but his true person is with God! And I know that when I die, I also will go to the place of God and I will see my son again!"

He told the old, old story of a Savior who came in the form of a babe and laid down His life upon a cross. The Son of Wanaadi (God) had died to take away the sins of the world so that all who believe might be saved! But Jesuquiriitu did not stay dead! No, He rose again!!!! He defeated death on the third day and rose again. Jesuquidiitu, was seen alive by many witnesses after that and had promised to go to the place of His Father, Wanaadi, to prepare a home for all who believe! A place where the houses are not made of mud, nor cement blocks but had streets of gold! And Antonio, and Linda, had put their faith in that. They would see their small son again and be with him!

I remember that night and how we had done all in our power to stop Death. We could not stop Death.. We are only human. BUT ...I remember that Easter morning in the rainy jungle! I saw the power of the resurrected Christ work in the hearts and lives of a forsaken people in a forsaken land.

John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

Upon a life I did not live,
upon a death I did not die;
anothers life, anothers death,
I stake my whole eternity.
-Horatius Bonar


WomanHonorThyself said...

Blessed holiday to u and yours.!!.and the link with your name on it when u comment at my site...doesnt send me here hun..u may want to fix that?

WomanHonorThyself said...

If u want to email me hun..please feel free..this post is so so moving........

NspiredByFaith said...

Oh my goodness! I couldn't read that fast enough! It is so amazing how God can turn the very darkest days into an opportunity to see His light, and guide others toward Him. Thank you so much for sharing this story.

Jane-Jane said...

My heart aches for baby David's parents, even after all these years. But wow.... what an awesome testimony for the Indians to experience first hand. God does use ALL things for HIS glory! And most times they are very painful while we are here on earth, for the advancement of The Kingdom of God!
Thank you again for sharing... I can't wait to read the book that you and your hubby are going to write some day!!!
Happy resurrection day! Jane

Becky said...

Those are powerful images of an Easter Sunday. And a powerful faith for Antonio and Linda. Isn't it wonderful that we have a powerful God??? May He bless you this Easter ... and always.

Baptist Girl said...

Hi Junglemom,
Thankyou for sharing this. We that are in Christ have hope. We know that when we leave this world we are in the presence of our Lord and Savior because of His ressurection, we will someday rise up to be with Him for eternity. Your story really touched my heart. This family lost their son but they were comforted by their Lord.


jennifer said...

I am in tears. What a emotional event. I am so grateful that God sent His Son for us, to stop the eternal death.
Thank you so much for your continued sharing of your experiences.
I will be praying for your dad, and tomorrow you can read about my dad. I will post it on the 8th.

Pat said...

What a powerful and moving message to an unsaved world---God allowed those hurts to be a witness to those whose fear of death crippled their ability to know and understand true life!!
Your stories not only remind us of how blessed we are but an everyday world where many are dying and going to hell without the Saviour!!
Thanks for encouraging us in the Lord to tell all and used our circumstances to point others to Christ, our RISEN Lord!!

Kitty said...

This was such a touching story. As I was reading I was sure the baby would be OK, and then it made me cry when he didn't make it. I've been a Christian my whole life, and I don't think, if I lost a child, I would have the same faith and hope that these parents had!! It's amazing to me that this father was strong enough in his new faith to preach at his own son's funeral. They really got the message that you all are sharing with these people. How inspiring that is, and to think it happened on Easter week, too!!!!!

Pam said...

Tears welled and flowed! What a range of emotions this story caused. Sadness at the sudden loss but pure joy for the fact of changed lives and a strong witness.

Susan said...

I was struggling with tears as I read of the mother crying out for her only son, but changed to joy and almost a shout as I read the father's testimony! Amen! We have the precious promise of victory over death because of Christ's resurrection!

Happymama said...

It is always amazing to me the abundant grace God will give His children "in times like these." What a story! Such a testimony!


WomanHonorThyself said...

you did it link works now hun..hooray...Sweet Sunday my friend and visit often!

Anonymous said...

Thank-you for this post. I was not able to make it to church this morning due to sickness but I recieved God's message anyway, through you. :)

thank-you for sharing your jungle stories with us, I have enjoyed every one of them!


Becky said...

Thanks for telling me about your kids. I sure would miss my kids in ANOTHER COUNTRY. OH, that would be so hard! I know your reunions must be so sweet.

Barbara H. said...

Thanks for visiting my blog today!

This was such a moving story -- and such a testament to the grace of God.

Janie said...

Thanks for yet another wonderful account of God's grace.

Dawn said...

What a beautifully written, moving story. What an awesome reaction by the grieving father.

100 degrees today - high of 36 here, I think. Snowed all through church. But we have enjoyed the presence of our Lord all day.

I am now writing Part 5 of my son's deliverance story.

deb said...

Jungle Mom ~ Thanks for sharing this story. And thank you for visiting our blog today and wishing us a Happy Easter. We wish the same to you and yours!

The Preacher's Wife said...

How rich a life God has given you...the opportunities to be on such hallowed ground. I am reminded of 'End of the Spear' when you talk of the names of Jesus and God in the tribal language...I have goosebumps at the glory of it all...

Thank you for sharing your wonderful experiences...

Caraqueña said...

Wow, Rita~that was an awesome story, and you are an awesome writer! Praise God for the Antonios~I've been amazed that sometimes my "disciples" get it even more than I do! What strength to proclaim a LIVING SAVIOR on your own son's DEATH day. Praise the Lord!

Sarah Joy said...

I read this story this morning while holding my own baby boy, David. God's grace on this family is truly amazing. I am so glad I can rest in the certain knowledge of my risen Lord! My heart goes out to this family, but is also stirred to look to Christ, in any circumstance. They have touched a lot of hearts with their faith today!


Jungle Mom, I am shivering with tears flowing down my face. Thank you for the testimony. It was so very touching and heart warming and yet sad in a human way, the though of parents losing their child to death but inspiring in the fact that they knew without a doubt they would see him again because God gave his son, his only son to die on an old rugged cross so that we might live because he lived. Thanks so much.

I will be praying for you and your family as your Dad has surgery tomorrow. Your Dad sounds like a wonderful man of God. I am thankful he knows, should he be called home, he has no doubt where he will be. I know at times like these that gives a person real peace.This will only help him as he is in surgery. Considered yourself hugged. connie from Texas

Michelle Franzen said...

Wow what a life changing story!

Thanks for visiting my site and saying hello. Seems we are in a similar 'boat' yours in Venezula and mine in Africa. Fun to see another missionary blogging.

How long have you been on the field?

Rosemary said...

That is so sad yet inspiring at the same. May God bless all of you on this Easter day and always.

Jungle Mom said...

Michelle: We have been in Venezuela for 20 years and we were in language school in Mexico for a year before coming here.

Abouna said...

That was a truly moving story, and very appropriate for this Holy Pascha, as it shows how God works His Love even in the face of tragedy.

God bless that couple, and I pray that you and your family had a very blessed Pacha filled with Love and the Peace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

serendip said...

What a tender and remarkable story of resiliance through faith and love of our father. You always have delightful and inspiring stories that you generously share with your readers. Thanks.

javagirl1111 said...

Wow. Very sobering. This really brought tears to my eyes.