What Goes Up…

7 Sep

The stock market.  Hot air balloons and home-made rockets.  Politician public opinion polls.  There was a lyric line made famous by a group called Blood, Sweat, and Tears when I was a wee lad still wet behind the ears.  Its reference was not to gravity but to the emotional roller coaster of life.  The cycles, the ebb and flow of success and failure, of happy times and strife, of sailing through the heavens and drowning in the sea.  The spinning wheel of life would be in constant motion and the merry-go-round ride on the “painted pony” carried one though the isolated times of just hanging on.  “You got no money, and you, you got no home, spinning wheel, spinning all alone.”

But what happens when the music doesn’t start, or the carousel never turns.  For Kidest, her life was like that.  In labor, no husband, no suitcase full of necessities for after the delivery… just sitting on the bench where beneficiaries wait for an entrance card when I walked into the clinic waiting area at 7:00 am.  She would become our first OB ward patient as soon as the midwife arrived.  Twelve hours of labor later with no progress she became our first referral to a hospital.  Two rejections at two hospitals with no empty beds after that, she was given a chance to be admitted to a third hospital if she could pay 5000 birr.  She had only 300, which was the equivalent of two weeks worth of her potential earnings.  LSM put down the advance payment.  All through the night she toiled.  The next morning the baby was delivered by C-section because of suspected pelvic dysplasia.  A girl.  Still in recovery, two days later Kidist had made no attempt to feed the baby and the OB doctor called and said, “We think Kidist is planning to abandon the baby at the hospital.  You better come and talk with her.”

“Do you want to keep your baby, Kidist?”

“How can I?  I got no money, and I got no home, and in life I am all alone.”  The spinning wheel had ground to a halt at Hopeless.

“Kidist, God brought you to LSM and with their support He allowed your daughter to be born alive and healthy and for you to survive your delivery.  If you had enough money for food and shelter, do you want to keep your baby and be her mommy?”  The music softly started again and the tears began to dry.  “We can support you with $40 a month.  That will buy food and pay your rent and you won’t have to go back to street-life.”  Hope’s assent was betrayed by the wistful look on her face that asked, “Why are you doing this for me?”

So…what is going up?  Another opportunity to share hope with hearts.  When we left I said, “Tebareku!” and motioned with two fingers.  It is the plural form, “God bless you…both of you.”  She smiled.

2 Responses to “What Goes Up…”

  1. Ed Schwartz September 7, 2013 at 6:47 pm #

    What a cycle of life! Thanks for sharing this great story.

  2. Beth Ringger September 9, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

    This post left me with tears. Praying for you both and LSM/clinic workers…and those lives you are touching.
    -Beth Ringger

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