I have been at the hospital in Manambaro for a bit over 2 weeks. During this time I have seen both the beginning and ending of life. Both are things that I have seen before, but here in Madagascar it seems more apparent. Today started with loud voices coming from the hospital. A women had come in very sick the night before and it was kind of the unsaid feeling that she would not make it long. So at 7am, I heard loud cries and asked what that meant. I was told someone had passed away. It was that women who had just arrived. The family and friends who were here with her were crying out in loss. My heart broke for them. What a way to start the day.
Every Tuesday the hospital has a maternity clinic and I get to help out with this. There we check on the pregnant mom’s and their babies. Many women come. Thanks to this service, women know that their baby is healthy. As I walked to the clinic this morning I was thinking about the women who had died. Many thoughts were in my head but the clinic was busy so I started to work. After helping with a few women, it hit me. I am seeing new life. Each women has new life in her. Soon each of these women will bring this life into the world and each child will start their story. I found peace in knowing that one life had ended but I saw so many that were just about to begin.
Sadly I saw this cycle happen again in the afternoon. Another life moved on and another life was started. The life that was lost was hard to see. My mind kept saying, “If we were in the hospital at home I would l know what to do…..If I knew how to speak Malagasy…If I could ask them a question…If I could just save her life.” But, that was not God’s plan. This death was hard for me to see. Thanks to my coworkers I was able to gain a better understanding about what death means here at the hospital and how people respond to it.
It was like God knew that I needed the circle to keep going because as I was getting ready to leave for the day, a women in labor showed up. She was taken into the delivery room. While I didn’t stay to see the deliver, I knew that new life would result!
In a way, each day we are given is a gift. Who knows when our life will end? God has given me many many days and I am thankful. So while I have seen a lot of death while being here, I have also seen a lot of life. I am reminded that each day matters. As the sun set tonight in all its beauty, I thanked God for another day!