When we had been in Chajuraña for a few years, some dear friends of ours lost their only son. He was born in the city of Puerto Ayacucho, and they named him David. The mother, Linda, flew out to the village with her newborn son and other daughters. Two days later, he was dead.
He died of heart failure, there was nothing we could do. Linda and her children were in our home throughout the entire ordeal. There was an emergency flight scheduled to get them in the morning, but he didn't last the night. The father, Antonio, flew out to the village to be with his wife and family for the burial.
I made the coffin during the night. At dawn, other friends and church members went to dig the grave. We carried the child to the burial ground on the side of the hill, deep in the jungle. It was raining that morning and it felt like God himself was crying with the family.
This was our first burial, and through the years I realized it was to be the first of many. But this was the first. I tried to imagine the heart ache of placing my own son in a cold wet muddy hole in the middle of the jungle and tried to understand how Antonio and Linda felt that day.
My heart and mind would not go there.
There was no shiny coffin with satin inside, there was no carpet of green grass around the hole. There were no flowers, just a muddy hole.
The pastor of the church spoke for a few minutes and then Antonio asked to speak.
He said, "Today I am sad because I bury my son here in Chajuraña. But I will not be sad forever because I will see my son again. The Bible has taught me that God has my son with him. When I die, I will also be with him. On resurrection day God will raise up my son's body and mine if I am dead. This is a resting place and nothing more. My son will not stay here forever. We will be together again.
He preached to those around the grave site of their need to believe in Christ as their savior if they also wanted to have that hope.
What great hope we have. Christ rose from the dead and promises to do the same for us. I needed to hear that message that day.