I end my update with a special dedication to my smallest of friends, Chiet. He is a small boy whom I befriended in Akuem when I was with Samaritan’s Purse. He was three years old and every single day without fail, he would stand at the front gate naked as the day he was born and call my name whenever he got a glimpse of me. I would always stop in my tracks, go running to the gate, lift him high in the air and hug and kiss him till he laughed. Whenever I would go for a run, he would run with me, wearing only flip flops, if that. One time he had a cold and couldn’t stay up with me and the other children and he started crying. I stopped and hoisted him on my back and we ran on. Every time I went outside of that gate, he was there waiting for me.
This weekend Chiet went home to be with Jesus. I just saw Chiet two weeks ago and he was healthy as an ox. I was told that he had “a lung problem” which could be pneumonia or malaria. I was so extremely sad and cried and cried. I love that little boy so much and he was the first one I went looking for when I visited three weeks ago. I felt so helpless. I thought, “If only I had been there, I could have prayed and paid the money for his hospital tests and care.” If only’s get us nowhere. They just bring more pain.
And so I honor Chiet’s life by saying how much he taught me about love and never giving up and what it must be like to love someone so much that you would run naked with them on the hot sand, even if you were sick. Chiet loved me more than that. Chiet, we will run again my little prince, we will run again. Ana hibu ita culu culu (I love you fully always)!