Not that long ago, Payton caravanned up to a remote village in the mountains to help deliver some relatives and the belongings of a family who had just lost their dear little boy. The immediate family drove separately with the casket in an ambulance they had rented. They had moved from their village to the city to find treatment for a tumor in his sinus cavity. It was inoperable because of the location and their last option was traditional medicine. For months all of us had prayed, but cancer and tumors are hard to beat in a country where radiation and chemotherapy are only accessible in big cities and to those who can pay. It was heartbreaking. I cannot imagine the weight they carried all those months. Even as believers, with their hope and trust fully in the Lord, it doesn’t take away the uglyness of watching a kid go through that. The tragedy in Eden had been etched very clearly into their own lives. Sin’s far-reaching consequences are so terrible.
Pray for Kelvin’s dear family (his mom and dad and two older brothers) as they continue to mourn, and yet rest in the hope that is only found in Jesus. After the bi-annual pastor’s conference, they will have a memorial service in their village. Pray that the gospel and their hope shines brightly for those around to see.
About the trip:
It was Payton’s first chance to travel so far from home via road. It was over a 12 hour journey by car and then a few more hours by boat. He had another friend who went along to help drive, which was much safer. Here, because most people don’t own their own cars, ambulance are primarily used to transport the deceased from the hospital to home, where ever that may be. Sometimes they are called to transport the really weak or sick to the hospital, but more often than not, people will call friends if they need to go to the hospital. As far as I know, ambulance don’t provide any medical services, usually just a place to lie down and AC, along with a siren and lights to get you through traffic.
After driving all day, and getting stuck because of a flooded river, they spent the night and then continued on the next day by river.
While up there, he got to visit with some folks that he’s met on previous trips, like the family of our former house helper. She is doing well and busy keeping up with her corn garden. She’s trying to save up resources to build her own place on a small piece of land.
On the way back, it was pretty mandatory to fill up the car so that it wasn’t a wasted trip. I think there was more than 300 lbs of rice that got sent down! This also included a carboard box with 3 angry, car-sick chickens. One died, but I think that was because she was already depressed and sick. One was the other drivers’ and one joined our flock.
Late night pit stop for food with the other guys.
I, Grace, didn’t know when exactly they would return because all of the time they were in the village and all the way into the first few hours of the drive back they don’t have any cell signal. They arrived home at 3am. And then the next morning, our friend’s newly acquired chicken escaped and so we spent hours chasing a wild chicken, who finally returned on her own the next day. We learned our lesson: wild game fowl from the jungle must be tied or they will fly away. They can fly 3 meters straight up, unlike our very fat city chickens. Everyone looked at us like we were daft for not knowing that you have to tie up village chickens. Apparently we still have a lot to learn.
Over all, the trip was mingled with sadness, but Payton was glad he was able to make the journey. Keep this dear family in prayer as God brings them to mind.