And no way to escape the soul-aching hurt that permeated the place. Even among the youngest students who were not sure just what the news would mean to them in the days, weeks and year ahead.
The news did not come unexpectedly. But the feeling common to the hallways and waiting areas of hospital rooms had been the norm. Concerned looks on faces. Hopeful suggestions, almost wishful thinking out loud as to how to save the dying patient. But now the verdict had been announced openly and the “official” word has been given.
Death had invaded our ranks. That last enemy of God and man had done its dastardly deed. And the stink of fatality had already set in.
I wanted to follow Hagar a good way off, about a bowshot away so as not to have to witness such a death. But I was in the unavoidable midst of it. And even as a visitor, I had to deal with the reality.
Malango School is dead!
I was not a casual visitor and the news cut my heart deeply. How could you avoid the despondency of a teenage GRANDdaughter with tears on her cheeks? How could you ignore the dejected cry of a GRANDson: “Papa, did you hear?” How do you console a young man whose world has just fallen apart around him?
What do you say to parents who face the emotional and financial burden this new reality demands? Boarding school for the teens, an expensive 3 hour flight away? Home schooling for the younger son by parents who are not trained teachers?
Maybe the most challenging emotion to fight is the “blame game”. Whose fault is this anyway? The field leadership? They are parents themselves. Exhausted teachers? They have earned a much needed furlough.
Must I bear a lion’s share of the blame for this tragedy? Maybe I did not sufficiently present the challenge among the trained and gifted teachers I know at home. Maybe I did not urge on Godly parents in our congregations the crying needy for dorm parents.
And certainly I bear a heavy shame that I have not obeyed the commands of my Lord and urgently prayed. He gave us the remedy for the problem of shortage in the ranks of this harvest field:
“Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.” Luke 10:2