Wednesday, October 19, 2011

BIG Update - Part 1 - A Death in the Church Family

So, I haven't posted in a while, and not because there wasn't anything going on, because stuff was definitely happening. There are several reasons that I haven't really updated in over a week. First of all, because of what happened and I wasn't sure how many details I can share. Second of all, because there were so many different things happening I was having a hard time knowing what to talk about. And thirdly, I sort of fell into a "funk" where I didn't want to do much of anything. But, I'm better now, and will start the updates. I'll post a couple different blogs today, and then a couple more tomorrow to get everyone caught up. Sorry about that.

I'll start with the events of a week and a half ago. I was over at Tammy's house, trying to play Mario with her son (who's in my class at school), which is hard because he spends half of the time trying to throw your character off a cliff and the other half of the time running ahead, which will get you killed if you don't keep up. Tammy came in and told me Jeimy's dad had been killed, so they were going to go to the house. She asked if I wanted to come, and I did for Jeimy's sake, because she's in my class.

So, we went. I didn't know what to expect, but I was too afraid of the answer so I didn't ask. When we got to the house, the police, and the medical examiner were still there. I followed mi familia through the gathered crowd (why do people always gather when something bad happens?) and under the "DO NOT CROSS" police tape. We embraced the members of the family members that were there and offered our comfort the best we could.

There was a lot of standing around after that. Several members of the family had some severe break-downs, and the members of the church were quick to step in and hold them while offering quiet words of comfort. It was hard to watch. I felt helpless. I couldn't offer words, but I did embrace those who I knew and didn't hide the fact that I was crying. I didn't really know the young man who died, but I did know two of his daughters and some of his other relatives, including his nephew who I worked with.

While we were there, they took the body away, wrapped only in a yellow plastic bag. I realized how much I've grown as I didn't get as nervous as I thought I would, seeing as bodies used to completely freak me out. The police left then, and the crowds got bored and dispersed.

Among all the pain, I think the worst was little Jeimy. She was running around hugging people without a tear on her face or any indication that she had been crying. I don't know that she understood what had happened, and I continue to pray for her that she grows to understand and accept what happened, and to make God her Father.

As it began to grow dark, we gathered to pray for the family and then said our good-byes. I wish I had known it was a real good-bye.

At church the next day, none of them were there. I didn't realize how big the family was until they were all gone from church, and the congregation was nearly cut in half. We also didn't have a worship leader, or band. The entire service that day was prayer. Although I didn't understand most of the words, I could hear the passion and sincerity, and was so moved by the way the church acted the way a church is supposed to act. As a church, we are instructed to mourn with those who mourn. (Romans 12:15) I was amazed at the way the chuch responded so Biblically. I feel like most churches would have solumnly announced it, said a sincere prayer for the family, but then moved on with their normal Sunday morning activities, not wanting to bring down the rest of the church. But aren't we instructed to mourn with those who mourn? In the same way, we are supposed to be rejoicing with those who are rejoicing, and I don't see too much of that in a lot of American churches today.

When by Tuesday nobody from that family had shown up to school, I asked someone when we could expect them back. Being without all of the kitchen staff and two teachers was difficult for the rest of us. I didn't know if there were certain traditions of mourning, or what, but I found out that they were gone for a different reason. The gang that had killed Jeimy's father had threatened another member of the family. Not knowing why the gang was after them, or how far they would go, the entire family up and moved away.

Because of that, we are permenantly down the two teachers, our cook, and our entire worship team. At the school, we're just managing as best we can. I've taken over teaching the Bible class and P.E, and Lindsay has taken most of the other classes. We did hire a new cook, so that part is working out fine. Last Sunday, worship was led by a friend of Tammy, who just played music off the computer and sang in a mic. It was a great time of worship, but I just feel like live music is better. Maybe that's just me.

So, that's what went down two Saturdays ago. Deep sorrow, but great response from the church.

1 comment:

  1. That sounds scary Melody. I'll pray for safety for you and your community. Sounds like you are dealing with it pretty well though. Be safe.