We, in the lobby, didn’t know what happened, but we were worried. We prayed together for several times while sitting on the floor and waiting. When one of our leaders came to get his sweet wife to go back to Sandy’s room together, we knew. Nobody said a word, but we knew she was gone.
Most of Americans are not emotional the way us Romanians, with Italian blood, are. But as we walked to the elevators to gather in one of the rooms, streams of tears went down on our cheeks.
There were many legal things involved at such a tragedy in a foreign country, and we stayed together, prayed, sang and read God’s promises from the Bible. Little by little, the Lord started to work peace in our devastated hearts.
Strange and painful as it was, we knew that was Sandy’s time to go. She lived a life of faith in God, overcoming struggles and unfulfilled dreams. She wanted to be a wife and a mother, but that didn’t happen. When we celebrated her life after coming back to the US, everything was set up for a wedding. She was the bride of Christ.
A few hours later, after giving his statement to the Chinese authorities, the leader of our trip came where we stayed and prayed with us. It was tremendously hard to think that we were there to bring joy and hope. Going to the airport and suspending our mission was out of discussion. We had to move on. A little later, we were on a bus to see the historical wall of that city, up on a hill.
We walked alone the path through the ruins, stopping from time to time to take in the fresh air.
Life was fragile. Now we were there, and next moment we could be gone. We were not in charge of our years, but the Father. Our days were counted and known before we were born. We believed that statement from the Bible. We were here on earth for a short time, to bring glory to God through our lives.
It was a miracle that under those circumstances, we went on and continued our journey in China with joy. Yes, we cried and mourned, we had questions without answers, we felt discouraged and worthless, but we fought those battles in our hearts and didn’t let go of hope.
When we went back to the city, we had our first meeting with a small group of Christians who were part of our mission. They knew things we didn’t know and were not supposed to know. But I knew most of them. Because when it was about a communist government, the life of their people, the facade versus reality, ways of being watched, followed and listened because you were Christian, my brain was alerted.
“You were assigned government agents to be with you everywhere you go every day. They are interested to keep you as far as possible from the people here, to make no personal connection, and when you go back to the US, to have no further contact with them. Don’t take their names, addresses, phone numbers or emails.”
That was so sad.
-to be continued-
CHECK OUT Rodica Iova’s books on amazon and kindle