Thursday, July 9, 2009
by Theresa Malila
if you have not read the beginning of Roseta's story, please read the previous blog below entitled "Roseta-the epitome of injustice".
This cold and gloomy morning (7th July) Rosetta died. The next day we attended the funeral of Rosetta to support and console her children who were in a state of shock and wept unceasingly. Rosetta’s last moments were very painful. The husband could not even afford a coffin for his wife and attended the funeral intoxicated with local beer. Assistance was provided to provide her with a coffin ($35) whilst HBC and Recovery Support volunteers bustled about with funeral arrangements.
As we sit in the crowded slum and attempt to condole the children of Rosetta currently living in abject poverty, in a real sense they have something to say to each of us in her death. They have something to say to every Christian leader in Mgona and in Malawi who have remained silent behind the safe security of their comfort zones and religion. They have something to say to every politician who blatantly lied and fed them with empty promises of development, free education, shelter, health, water and sanitation etc when they seek votes. They have something to say to parents who procreate without any thought to the future of their children. They have something to say to every citizen of this nation who has passively accepted the evil system of greed and corruption and who has stood on the sidelines and ignored the plight of the 65% of the population who have no voice and say in matters concerning them. I believe that these children are saying to us, today that we can no longer pretend that there is no problem in our society, that we must not just be concerned about the death of their mother but also about what happens to them! This death must not anesthetize us but show us that we must work passionately and unrelentingly for the realization of improved health services and laws that protect and provide for women and children that are b eing orphaned at an alarming rate.
I am a great believer in the fact that nothing just happens. God still has a way of working all things out for good and for his purposes, suffice it to say God is not taken by surprise and as long as we compromise our Christian standards – we have no right to preach a gospel of love and grace.. These innocent children have cried out to the Lord and just as he heard Hagar’s baby, he hears Rosetta’s babies.
What a stark contrast to Michael Jackson’s memorial, compare the pomp to this poverty strapped funeral and the words of his 12yr old daughter Paris, to the the heartbreaking words of Esther, Rosetta’s 12 year old wailing “ mummy with whom have you left us? How am I going to take care of the baby, will I be able to take care of him? Our father failed to take care of you and of us while you were alive and sick, who is going to take care of us now? You have not done the right thing, dying and leaving us like this “… she has already assumed the role of mother.Will there be a sunrise for these children, will there be a ray of sunshine in this place? The Word says, "A little child shall lead them." Maybe just maybe the voices of these defenceless little children may lead this society from the barren path of man's apathy to a place of searching, serving and separating unto God . The untimely death or Rosetta may lead us into a place of helplessness and nothingness to substitute our limited vision for God’s eternal vision.. As I sit up and meditate on God’s faithfulness I can truly say that inspite of this dark and blinding reality I cannot afford to despair or give up. I cannot not become despondent apportion blame. I refuse to lose faith and must believe that God is forever working all things ……that as Christians we will and must learn to respect the dignity and worth of every human being. What can you say to these little ones that will give them any assurance of a future, let alone a life? It is virtually impossible to console them as they look blankly around seeking a familiar face, an assurance that will embrace their dilemna and give answers to the questions they keep asking as they weep for their loss. You can say very little or absolutely nothing, but hope in the Lord who does not disappoint. Children aught not to have to suffer such calamities on their own, but they do and continue to do so more often these days. This is a time when the truth of the “BEATITUDES” seem more pronounced than ever.
What can I say, this life is hard, at times even harder than iron or steel, in bleak and difficult moments such as these it looks like the sun will never rise! The weather itself cold, bleak and chilly speaks of the circumstances of these children. How can you tell them things will get better, that they should not despair, what assurance can you give children, you can only but travail in silence and trust God, for He is God all by himself!!!
What then is the conclusion to all this? The children desperate, innocent, and helpless are the victims of one of the most vicious and tragic circumstances, knowing not what the future holds for them. Will they become mere statistics like the numerous forgotten faces from the silent injustices resulting from the HIV/AIDS pandemic? We continue to fix our eyes on God who is the author, editor and finisher of our faith. Today, I know that Rosetta who gave her life to the Lord is with him, that He who watches over Israel neither sleeps nor slumbers and just as His eyes are on the sparrow so will He watch over her five children.
May God’s grace continue through those who support Homebased Care workers and WOW to enable us to support and take care of patients like Rosetta and these beautiful children who need to believe and experience that SOMEBODY CARES.