WARNING: THIS POST HAS PICTURES OF A DEAD CHILD
It’s been an emotional few days. Kenalin is the little girl on the far right of this photo, in the white dress with pink flowers. She is the two year old daughter of some of our neighbors, Ken and Lepo. They live close by and have been Wes and Penny’s language helpers for years. Kenalin is one of Zoe and Sylvie’s regular playmates.
Two weeks ago, Kenalin got sick. She was having trouble breathing, had a fever, and had a hard spot in her belly. They came over and hung out with all of us that afternoon, so we saw how pitiful she seemed, but at that point we thought she just had a little bug that she would get over. She was getting worse, not better though, so a couple of days later they took her to the local clinic. (We are thankful for this clinic because they provide basic medical care, which means we can send people to them instead of having to try to do medical work, however, they don’t know how to handle everything.) When Kenalin was at the clinic they gave her an IV and about 25 shots to treat pneumonia and malaria. We are pretty sure they give everyone malaria drugs. It did seem like she might have pneumonia considering the difficulty she was having breathing (I’m no doctor!), but the shots weren’t helping. After a few days they sent them home, recommending Ken and Lepo go and make peace with anyone they may have offended and then take Kenalin to the nearest real hospital. They didn’t go right away. They waited several days, during which time they followed the doctors orders of making peace, consulted witchdoctors and used local remedies to get rid of the sickness. They also gathered money for the trip and were planning to leave on Sunday. Kenalin died Saturday night around 11 pm.
This is a couple who has never been able to have kids and were given this baby after years and years of waiting. Their only child. They loved her so much. And now she’s gone.
Wes made a coffin for them yesterday and Penny and I painted it. Then we took it down and watched them put her in it. And we all cried a lot. Today they buried her.
It’s so strange that she was playing with our kids a couple of weeks ago and now she’s gone. It’s going to be a long road for Ken and Lepo. Please pray for them with us!