It’s 5:30am, in the village of Kebabe in the southwestern outskirts of the Kisii region in Kenya, East Africa….
…as the darkness of the night is squeezing every last blackness it can, the morning is slowly beginning to sound. The “early” roosters have sounded the first alarm, the birds are slowly waking in song, the sense of a new day is awakening and I sit with expectancy and watch for that moment… THAT moment when the darkness is overcome by the glimmer of light, peeking over the distant mountain giving way to a rapid lighting of the day.
It’s an amazing sight and an even more amazing message as I’m reminded how I’ve been rescued from the power of darkness and placed into His glorious LIGHT of Love!! No matter how dark the moment seems, His Light, His Powerful Light, overcomes that darkness! Not only has He delivered me from forever darkness… HE continues to deliver me from those moments when my eyes are closed to the LIGHT surrounding me.
As I am having my time with The Lord and pondering and awaiting that certain and sure sunrise…
Suddenly, I am hearing a deep, dreadful and painful cry that is ringing as the morning breaks… Somewhere, over the mountain, someone has died. The wailing brings a gasp in my heart. Never hearing it before – still, I know exactly what it means. The sounds are clearly coming from many who are grieving the loss of someone.
The sounds continue for over an hour… A groan and an outcry that can be heard for miles.
Who has died? Was this person sick? Was it sudden? Was this an mzee, an old man, who had lived a long life, most likely working harder throughout his life than most in my country has ever known. Was it a mama, a woman who would wake with those first roosters, work in the shamba, sell her goods at the market, prepare ugali for her family, not stopping her day until well after dark? Was this death a child, perhaps from hunger, or any one of several diseases that plague this country?
Who had died? And more importantly, where were they now? Did they know Hope? Did they have a Rescuer Who had redeemed them, reconciled them for eternity from the dreadful, painful darkness? The sounds this morning were indeed raw grief, but there was more… or was it… less… it just felt empty. Empty.. of any HOPE, any Light.
I found out later that the people hire mourners… those wailing… crying out in pain… many were paid by the family to attempt to express the depth of their own pain. This fact only made my questions more pressing.
Oh Lord, I don’t know why you have chosen me… I don’t know how to do this… But Father in heaven, Lord Jesus, fill me with Your Spirit so I might be used as You bring these beautiful people from the darkness of this world, alienated and enemies of You, separated from Your Love… into the glorious presence of Your redeeming, reconciling, rescuing grace! May they come to know the Hope of glory… Christ in us!!