Operating Onboard the Africa Mercyship, Part II
The most poignant and thought-provoking case I experienced while in Liberia was that of the 6 week old boy pictured here. He was finally brought to the Mercyship after a one week history of a painful lump in his groin accompanied by persistent vomiting and lethargy. It turned out to be a strangulated hernia (intestines which died as a result of getting stuck in a defect in the abdominal wall). When he came to us he was severely dehydrated, weighing only 3 pounds! He was too sick to even survive an operation, so we did our best to resuscitate him. In the end, we could not save him, and he died in his father's arms the following day. The father's faith challenged me, as through tears he acknowledged God's sovereignty saying, "God gives and God takes away." This was also Job's response to losing his entire household and all his children as a result of Satan testing his devotion to God in Job 1:21.
While I know that God can, and will, ultimately bring good out of this situation (Romans 8:28), I am also convinced that God did not design for this child to die for lack of a simple surgical procedure. So how is it that this baby died? The simplest answer is that we live in a fallen world, where death is as certain as life. All the same, God has chosen to redeem this fallen world through his church (Ephesians 2:10). What a privilege to be a part of bringing about the Kingdom of God on this earth! Though everything will not be made completely new until Jesus comes again, until then, I hope to be found redeeming the world, one hernia at a time.