Mbingo Baptist Hospital: view from Mbingo Hill

Saturday, August 24, 2013


August 23: God does many things that I don’t understand. Yesterday, we wrote, very excited, eagerly anticipating God’s miraculous hand at work in young Chrystabelle’s life - her surgery for a new heart valve had finally been scheduled. Today, after her story had pulled at many or our hearts, and after raising greater than $10,000 to support her in this journey, Chrystabelle quietly slipped away post-operatively, leaving her uncle Valentine speechless, Lindsay and I in shock, and her medical team in despair.

God chose to take her from this world and to bring her home. I suppose I ought to be joyfully celebrating her final reunion with her Lord and Savior, and yet here I am, speechless, confounded, and wondering “why God, did you place her burden on my heart, only to take her away just as everything was coming together?” I am speechless.

I don’t know why God chose to prick my heart with Chrystabelle’s story, or why for that matter, we shared her story and raised funding to support her if this was the end result. Praise God, that when our knowledge fails, when our hearts can handle no more, and when our endurance gives way, God remains steadfast, sovereign, and true.

God tells us in Isaiah 57:1-2 “the righteous perish, and no one takes it to heart; the devout are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.”

August 24: I spoke with Valentine again today. I tried to express our sincere condolences, but fumbled for the right words. He told me, “Doctor, God is in control. It will be all right.” We will be attending Christabelle’s funeral on Monday. We praise God for letting us know Christabelle, being encouraged by her bravery and her steady faith, and we thank God that she is finally home.

Please pray for Valentine and Christabelle’s family. They are trusting in God’s provision and plan, but there is pain in the loss.

God uses situations like these to teach us something. I am sure I still have much to learn. However, one thing that is very clear is that you are all amazingly generous, Godly people who without hesitation raised money for a girl you didn’t know to give her a new chance at life. Thank you for offering of yourselves and freely giving to offer Christabelle hope. Praise God for each and every one of you, and praise God that our true hope is in the Lord.

Much love and many blessings,

JR & Lindsay

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