My time spent in Kafue could best be described as an emotional battle. Saturday morning, awakened by the Lord, I was aware that my time spent there would not be easy- however, little did I know what was yet to come.
The night before was difficult. Thinking about seeing my girls from last year again left me anxious, nervous, excited, scared, and questioning what the next few days would bring. It wasn't until I got in the car on Saturday morning, that I realized just how much of my weekened would be much different than how I expected it to be.
I got in the car. Humphrey was quiet. I asked him how he was doing, he said, "fine." I knew something was not right. No more than 30 seconds passed, and his mouth began to move, sharing that last evening, one of our Orphans (Ophrey) had passed away.
If you know my story of Ophrey, you know that I associate his name with the Hope of Jesus Christ. If you know what happened last year while I was here, you would understand how devastated this left me.
As I sat in the car, quietly, now in shock, I wondered if the joy of seeing my girls would even exist amongst the pain of this loss.
We made it to Uncle Bushe's (a retreat center where I had stayed last year) and it brought back many incredible memories. Walking down the roads in Kafue felt so good- a place I had known so well once before. My spirit excited, interested in what was to come.
I could write forever about my time in Kafue. I could write about each one of my children, once a little girl, now bigger and stronger- and my time with them. I could write about the pain of leaving them again, knowing I won't see them again for a while- but it is just too much to write.
To put things plainly, time in Kafue was an emotional battle. From the joys of seeing some of my little girls, to the pains of losing Ophrey- from the excitement of being back in Kafue, to the suffereing of some of the children- from the anxiousness of seeing them, to the heart breaking reality of those not sponsored- from the joy of hearing the blessings from the Lord, to the tragedy of hearing a child talk aboout shane(one of my teammates from last year that tragically passed away after returning), wondering when he will come back, all in the mean while, in the back of my head just imagining how devastated this child would be to know that shane is gone.
Joy amongst pain. Beauty amongst disaster. Laughter amongst tears. Hope amongst sorrow.
I have yet to find words to explain my encounters with my girls. I have however, been able to write of my experience at Ophrey's funeral. This will conclude this post:
I wasn't expecting this.
I never thought we would actually ever lose one.
Ophrey- last year, a story of hope.
This year- his funeral.
I never thought I would have to do this.
I walk in- the church filled with mourners.
I am somber in spirit; nervous, scared, alone.
His body carried in, a small casket resting on sunken shoulders.
Then, I hear it. Over the silent cries of all the people gathersed- to women screaming-
their breaths, unable to fill their lungs.
the sound of grief- piercing.
i look to my left. a man, tears falling into his hands, cupped below.
i look forward- the Boy's Bregade- Ophrey's best friends.
i look down, my finger tips damp, with black streams of mascara, smeared.
i hold it in.
my eyes continue to scan the church.
i find myself angry- in disbelief.
Not that he's gone- but that all these people are here- at his funeral, screaming.
he lived alone. he's been alone. where were they then?
who am i to judge, yet, I find myself angry.
Then I am asked to speak.
I stand, exit the pew, and bow down before his casket.
I stand at the podium, and give my words.
As I stand before the church, my stomach aches. My knees weak. My eyes full, hindering my sight.
All I can see is one woman- she stands up and leaves the room. Another, burries her face in her hands.
I can't do this. This can't be happening.
I return to my seat. My heart pounding. I cry.
I feel a hand on my back- we pray.
my tears drown out the sounds.
I can't write more. I saw him, his lifeless body-
I remember him last year, weak and sick, yet carrying hope and life-
im sad. i hear the women.
i turn around and see them, collapsed on the ground yelling his name.
im angry, yet compassionate.
i just walk away.