A couple of weeks ago our Indonesian helper told us that she woke up to weeping in her neighborhood. She soon learned that a young Muslim woman, one of her neighbors, had suddenly passed away from complications after a cesarean section. Without even the smallest warning she left behind her brand new baby girl, along with her two older children and her husband. When I heard this my heart sank. After having spent years as a nurse in that specific field, maternity, I knew that this tragedy might have been prevented.
One thing that has stood out to me since coming to Indonesia is the frequency of death. Often the mosques will announce the passing of someone in the neighborhood, or a road will be blocked off for a funeral. Maybe I notice it more because of the closeness of community here, or the fact that there are no morgues that hold the bodies. Immediately after someone passes away a funeral is held and the body is buried, often within 24 hours. Either way, when I heard the story of this young woman I was reminded of something. In the midst of homesickness, separation from family, friends, snow, American food, spending holidays with family, and so much more that we miss, there is a reason why we are here. God has called us to be a light among the nations….to offer hope and freedom.
Living here has reminded us that life can be fleeting. May we live each moment with thanksgiving in our hearts for the gift of life we have received, and may we utilize every day to accomplish things of eternal significance.
“I the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison, and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.” — Isaiah 42:6-7
The risks of delivering a child when medical intervention is required is only one of the challenges facing people living in isolated communities worldwide. This infographic tells more about the countries where Mission Aviation Fellowship serves and the difficulties of living in those remote regions: