Wednesday, November 4, 2009

We Made it Through Our First Fever

I worried about when this day would come. When I woke up George on Sunday morning and felt his head burning up, I knew the fever had finally hit. George was crying, holding his head and telling me that he was so cold. I hugged him and assured him that he would feel better and I went off to get some ibuprofen.

He followed me into the kitchen and very sadly asked, "Am I going to die?"

None of my kids have ever asked me that. I don't think that thought even enters their mind when they get sick. They look at it as a day to hang around on the couch getting good things to eat and lots of mom-attention. But to a little boy from Ethiopia, who has seen children die from fevers and coughs, he was scared.

He must have asked that question a few more times during the day. By Monday, even though he was still battling the fever, he began saying, "I'm NOT going to die."

I was reminded of how dire George's circumstances were in Africa. What we see as a fairly common ailment could be a death-sentence in an impoverished country.

Attending Harvest Fest this week has been a huge encouragement for me. Our festival is all about children at risk this year, and I have been reminded how "at risk" George really was. The speaker talked about kids starving and when given some food would eat until they threw up...that was George! He told stories about kids hiding in the bush...that was George! Missionaries shared stories about helpless, fatherless kids making their way to Addis Ababa in the hopes of survival...that was George's destiny. Joe and I saw those kids in Addis Ababa. Thousands of kids just wandering the streets. Nothing to do, nowhere to go...that was what George had to look forward to.

The speaker said something that resonated within me last night. He said, "God is a God who WANTS to be a father to the fatherless, but he relies on a body to do it." God needs the church, his body, to be the hands that pick up a child off the floor to be the arms that hold him, to be the smile that warms his heart, to BE CHRIST.

This whole week is about a big question mark on the screen. What is the answer to the millions upon millions of children at risk in this world? I am finding the answer for me...what is the answer for you?

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