Death is real

Sunday afternoon Brian, Pastor Terry and several other Ugandan Pastors we work with traveled over three hours to grieve with a Pastor/Church Planter named Timothy. His wife Grace gave birth to a beautiful baby boy just 2 weeks ago. However, Grace had serious complications and remained in a coma after the baby was born.

We spent multiple nights praying for Grace and Timothy. We have had many conversations about death as we have been here, brought about by things like visiting a malnourished children’s home, meeting many orphans, and praying for Grace and our cook, Susan, who has lost 2 family members since we have been here.

Grace’s death was difficult for us to swallow as Americans. It was a senseless death. If she had only had adequate healthcare this could easily have been prevented. She simply bled to death.

Death is so raw and real here! Everyone we encounter knows death intimately. Daily, people die from lack of medicine, lack of knowledge, AIDS, auto accidents, inferior care etc.

This is just one of the many needs that flash before us each day. There are so many needs that sometimes it is overwhelming. But God is good! The reality of death has shaped this culture for the positive and negative.

In a negative sense, people are often living in survival mode. Some don’t have hope for tomorrow, much less their future. So live for today. This is played out in many ways such as stealing, violence, and hopelessness.

On the other hand, it also has some positive effects. The Ugandan people are all about their family and community. They are very relational. They truly come together to provide for each other in times of trouble. For example, there were about 1,000 people at the burial for Grace.  They gave over 1,000,000 shillings ($400, which is more than many people make in a year here) to the family to help Timothy care for their 6 children.

Most encouraging, however, is their openness to spiritual things. In the absence of material distractions and in light of the reality of death, the Ugandans are hungry for hope which the truth of Scripture amply supplies. They are open to hear about Jesus in a way that many people in first world countries don’t understand.

Is it a difficult life? YES! In no way do we want to diminish the struggles that these precious people face each day. On the other hand, I envy them. I envy their freedom in worship, their thankfulness for each thing they receive, their eagerness to give thanks in difficult circumstances and their yearning for God.

Pastor Timothy summed it up, when he saw Grace’s time was coming to an end on this earth. He told  Pastor Terry that he was simply trusting God’s will and rejoicing that she would no longer be in pain. Lord, help us to set our mind on things above. Give us your perspective on this World and the things in it. Give us your eyes.


This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Muwanguzi enock

    I travelled with them, and it was really abad experience for pastor Timothy!! Witnessed everything i felt empathy. Prayers lifted

  2. Jeff and Diane

    Thank you Jerilyn for taking the time to write this. God has truly given you a gift at communicating so richly through your writing. Death is real. May the LORD use you & your family to share the gift of eternal life with these people, showing them the hope they can have through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as their Savior. God bless you guys! We love you!

  3. ashtro12

    Thanks for sharing Jerilyn…my prayers for Timothy and the children will be added to my prayer list this week…

  4. geri troublefield sutton

    that is such a sad thing to hear. did the baby survive?
    she gave the ultimate sacrifice for her child. wouldn’t we each do the same?
    didn’t jesus do that for us?

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