"O my Comforter in sorrow,
my heart is faint within me." Jeremiah 8:18 (NIV)

Hey girlfriends,

Today's post is going to be sobering. My parents have returned to the Democratic Republic of Congo for a two month trip. My mother blogged this today and I had to share it with you. Sometimes words are so inadequate. I am heartbroken over the pain and struggle of my Congolese brothers and sisters. Please pray for them.

"Mawa"...the word means "sorrow"--brokenhearted. "Mpenza" means "deeply, really, truly, to a great extent"

Today was a day of great, deep, extensive sorrow. Why? Because one of our staff, Mupia, whose name by the way means "twin," lost his twenty-something year old daughter. He came to work to give us a hand because we have missionary guests from Kinshasa. Jim drove him to his home about 4 p.m., only to find out that his daughter had just died. She waited and waited and waited before seeking help to deliver her second baby. The first baby died at birth. Unable to deliver by herself, when labor came on strong, the village women came to her aid to no avail.

Finally, with no more options, she went to the local state-operated clinic, where horror stories are heard all the time. She could not go on any longer so the "doctor" gave her a C-section, and her uterus ruptured. The baby was already dead.

Pastor Mboma told me that hers is the fifth death in two months of women receiving a C-section at that clinic. I listened in shock as he told me, "Sometimes C-sections are performed with razor blade and a flashlight." Think of it! Five women have lost their lives, perhaps needlessly.

It was just such a death that occurred at our airstrip with a women named Shindani that made us decide that we must have a hospital here. Shindani waited for three day, while in intensive labor, before the villagers brought her to us. Jim, my husband, was fueling the little Cessna 150 to take her to the medical mission of Vanga, when he heard the death wail. Her mother was flailing her arms in disbelief that there, before her very eyes, her daughter passed from this life into the next.

We have two young men training to be doctors in Lumbumbashi, but it will be another three years before one of them will return to the local population's rescue. How many more women will die from childbirth before he returns?

We visited Mupia in his village. His face was swollen from crying. My heart breaks for his family. Please pray for them. We attended the funeral for his daughter and grandchild. I watched as they lowered the wee casket into the ground next to the baby's mother. It was a little boy. Oh, what great sorrow...mawa...mpenza!

Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly!