Saturday, April 16, 2016

Yunus Update

Yunus had been evaluated from the IHK Emergency Room.  Blood and urine samples had been taken for analysis.  X-rays had been taken of his chest and the ultrasound scan was complete.  Admission forms had been filled out. Payment agreements had been reached.

Nothing left but to wheel him to the elevator so that he could enter his isolation room with his father (baba in his mother tongue).

As Yunus and his father watched the doors close, the three of us rode slowly up to the Pediatric Ward. Baba broke the silence and said quietly, "Yunus wants to go back to school."

We were thinking only of life.

Yunus was in very good hands.  Doctors confessed that they had a VERY sick boy on their hands. The test revealed that he had TB, severe pneumonia, enlarged liver, an infection peculiar to HIV positive patients, and a very enlarged heart.

Above all hands had been laid on Yunus. Healing had been requested.  Prayers were beginning to be offered on his behalf by people halfway around the world.

His current physical condition was horrible when NGM was first introduced to Yunus this past Wednesday.  Imminent death was a very real possibility.  Everything that could be done medically in this nation was being done.

A horrible storm had been raging over this 10 year old's life, but HOPE was standing strong in the midst of it.

The enlarged heart was of the biggest concern to the physicians.  The heart was too weak to push the blood in it out to the rest of the body. Echograms and other evaluations put the doctors on high alert. It is not uncommon for HIV patients to face such difficulties and little could be done.

Friday evening I had received a call from Dr. Muhame.  His opening statement brought a cloud over my soul.  "I have bad news for you."

Ezra lovingly & compassionately shares Jesus Christ
Yunus had suffered cardiac arrest and he was not able to survive.  I asked the doctor how Baba was doing.  He replied, "Not so good."  We had observed that Baba had a strong love for this boy. He has other children, but only Yunus was HIV positive.

Early this morning (Saturday) Ezra and I drove to IHK to help the father.  He had no money to transport the body back for burial in the village. We knew we were not only given an assignment to help Baba with logistics, but to share the only Hope we have.

Some of Baba's last responsibilities for Yunus
Baba shared with us that Yunus fell in love with both of us.  We had loved him by providing every resource we had to fight for his life.  He had loved us back.  He kept telling Baba, "I want to see those two men who brought me here."  Baba told us that Yunus valued us more than anyone except his father.

Baba's heart was tender.  He wanted to know about Jesus.  He was wounded, hurting, confused, broken, and open to our love.  Ezra tenderly shared Jesus with him.  He will think long and hard about what was shared.  He couldn't deny that these two non-religious guys ... one white and one black ... had loved him in ways that he could understand.

Preparing to transport Yunus' body to the village
I'm grateful that we don't experience many of these kind of days.  Death is our enemy.  I have never made friends with death.  Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.  Jesus came to give mankind life.

But, death comes to our bodies anyway.  And, the process is not fun.  The doctors were very competent and caring.  The ward doctor shared the sequence of events with us regarding the passing of Yunus.  She gave us the death certificate.  Yunus' body had been embalmed and was waiting for us in the morgue.  But, there was no one to help us wrap the body in a sheet.

Death is so common here that the nationals are very capable of doing what Westerners pay others to do.  It was a humbling experience for me.  An honor to be a part of this expression of love of a father for his son.

This is our work.  We rejoice with those who rejoice and we weep with those who weep.

And to love in the only ways we know how to love.  We purchased 50 kilos of rice and 50 kilos of beans.  We gave Baba some money to help with burial expenses.  We hired a truck and driver to transport the body, the father, and the food to the village.

This is not the update that I was hoping to write tonight.  Ezra had planned to visit Yunus today. Pam and I were going to visit him tomorrow. Those desires vanished with his passing.

We are sad.  But ... we would do it again.  We will do it again.  The life of one 10 year boy is worth more than all the resources we could have given in fighting for his life.  Jesus is our example of giving all He had so that others may live.  As we say in Africa, "This is our work."


  1. Definitely not the kind of news I was anticipating to get but.....the lord good. Always good!
    So so saddened by the passing of that precious boy. He is with Jesus now and doesn't have to experience anymore pain. Sending lots of love and prayers to his father!

    And yes, it is a humble experience when family and friends wrap the corps of their beloved one:), Oh well, they don't have any other choice. Thank you for writing. Love you!!!

  2. Its a pity we lost that Precious child. I pray that God will comfort the parents and siblings. Thank you NGM for standing with them. Your presence alone shines alight in the darkness. I am forever greatful.

    1. It is a comfort to know that we are only accountable to those things God has given us to do and live in faith to those things beyond our control.

  3. Its a pity we lost that Precious child. I pray that God will comfort the parents and siblings. Thank you NGM for standing with them. Your presence alone shines alight in the darkness. I am forever greatful.

  4. It's a pity that Yunus has gone at an early stage of life. Peace, grace and comfort be multiplied to his father and the whole family.

    1. Thanks Jimmy. NGM is hoping that his life and death is a doorway for the Good News of God's grace.

  5. I praise God for havin used you to share Christ wit Baba at that particular tym. May God bless you.


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