Three White Crosses

Today was the funeral for the three children who passed away.  So this morning we all gathered in the office in our skirts (at least for the girls) and scarves and walked to the cemetery.  When we got there our maintenance crew and a few local gentlemen were still digging the graves.  As they finished the Bo’Me (ladies) were singing songs in Sesotho.  These songs are always so beautiful.  I know some of them now, since I’ve heard a few of them multiple times while here.

Once the graves were finished, they brought out the three tiny caskets.  The local funeral parlors take turns on who handles Beautiful Gate funerals.  They set each of the caskets in front of their respective grave.

Prayers were said and a few of the Bo’Me spoke.  The housemother of two of the children spoke on behalf of the housemothers.  More songs were sung.  Some cheerful, some somber, but always praise songs to our Lord. Bryan gave the sermon as the “father” of Beautiful Gate.  He talked about how God knows the number of the days of our lives.  And how these three children are with Him now.

Anita as the “mother” of Beautiful Gate led the ladies in laying flowers on each of the graves after the caskets were put in the graves.  Then the men shoveled the dirt back into the graves and put the little white crosses on the graves with the names of the children on them.  The local Chief closed out the service.

It was a beautiful service.  I’m not doing it justice describing it here.  It was different from funerals back home, but that is as it should be.  It’s a different culture.  All of the ladies were dressed up in their finest.  Everyone came together.  The care staff that stayed behind cooked a traditional meal for everyone for when we got back.

When I was first thinking about the fact I would have to write this post, I thought I’d entitle it “Three Tiny Caskets”, but during the funeral, I realized that isn’t the end.  The three white crosses give us hope, because Jesus died on a cross for our sins.  Because he rose from the grave, we know these children will have life.  They are in heaven even while we mourn.  They are with Jesus.

Bryan mentioned in his sermon the story about Lazarus dying.  Jesus went to be with Mary and Martha.

When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled.  And he said “Where have you laid him?”  They said to him, “Lord, come and see.”  Jesus wept.  ~ John 11:33-35

Jesus went on to raise Lazarus from the dead.  But in the one verse, John 11:35, we see that Jesus mourns with us.  He knew He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead yet He he still cried when He saw the anguish and sorrow in Lazarus’s loved ones.  While we mourn for these three children, Jesus mourns with us.  But one thing we know, this is not the end.  As Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, Jesus will raise these three children from the dead.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.  Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.  Do you believe this?”  ~ John 11:25-26

So, the questions is friends, do you believe this?  Do you have the hope in knowing that Jesus died for your sins so you could have eternal life with Him?

The three little caskets make us sad for a time, but the three white crosses give us hope for eternity, because of one cross 2,000 years ago where a man who knew no sin gave His life for each and every one of us.  Thank You Jesus for Your sacrifice.  Thank You Lord for Your promises!

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