Congo and Babies

Brian and I have never tried to have a child; we have only been married a year, and I simply said that “we’re not ready.”  Here’s the thing, you are never “ready;” you become ready when the baby comes.  So, while that might hold some truth, we’d like to travel and save some money before we bring a child into the world, it’s only part truth.  I have always wanted a baby, but have always been a little afraid that I will not be able to have kids.  My medical history is that I have little chance of carrying a baby to term.  The story of how that came to be is long and painful – maybe I will share it another day.

My culture would have me believe that if I am not able to be a mother, because of medical reasons or otherwise, I fail at not only being a good wife, but at being a good woman.

Coming to Congo, I knew there would be a LOT of children, and that the primary purpose of our field service was to revive a playground for the kids in Impfondo and the Pioneer Christian Hospital  (I’ll call it PCH, for short).  I also knew that I might have the opportunity to observe a surgery.

What I didn’t count on was that I would attend a church in the jungle where 43 of the 60-something attendees were children.  I also didn’t expect the feeling of utter helplessness at seeing a 3-month old baby with meningitis seizing on his hospital bed in the urgent care room at PCH. Lastly, I didn’t expect my surgery observation to be of a C-Section, turned live birth, which ended in me weeping at the miracle of the baby’s first cry and the look of triumph in the new mother’s eyes as she met my own.

This trip has had a repetitive theme: babies.

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This morning, I went on a Mercy Ministries outreach to a local orphanage with K.J. and Erin, called Baby Creche (pronounced “crush”).  I didn’t sign up to go; K.J. came to my cabin last night and said something along the lines of, “I put your name on the list, I hope you don’t mind.  They serve fresh croissants before we leave.”  Well, how can I say “no” to that?  Babies who need love and warm croissants?!

So, I loaded up with 7 other girls and one guy into the Land Cruiser to the orphanage.  The children there were heart-wrenching. They are sick, malnourished, and absolutely perfect.  They played with us, hugged us, and smiled (when they were strong enough to muster it), but mostly, they just wanted to be near to someone who would hold them.

I don’t really know what to say in conclusion of this post, other than this has been a most surprising, heartbreaking, but wonderful trip, where I think God is telling me that it’s alright to “fail,” as long as I try.

Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children?”  Genesis 21:6-7

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3 thoughts on “Congo and Babies

  1. Cassie, it is so amazing how God works in our lives. I’m so grateful He put you there and I’m so grateful you got to love on those kiddos. You are an amazing woman Cass & I can’t wait to hear more when you come back. Been praying for yous since yous left. Love ya!! Debby

  2. Such an amazing post to read. It must have been heart breaking to see these children so ill. I also loved the section where you talk about how the children just wanted someone to play with them and love them – human nature at its most basic level. When there is nothing else, companionship is so important! A great read
    Sass x

    • Exactly! The madams (house mothers) at the orphanage pick the kiddos up by their arms and place them where they want them, like objects. I mean, my head gets it, in a way: they have too many kids, and getting attached is futile – but then my heart says “they’re children!” and I want them to stop treating them that way, and to love them.

      When we came to the orphanage we were told that this would happen, and not to try and “diagnose” the situation, but to just love on the kids. It’s just so hard to separate the heart from an act like that.

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