Friday, January 15, 2010


We received the tragic news today that Jude, a toddler in Fondwa, didn’t survive the earthquake. He was killed with Sister Oudel, we assume as the guest house collapsed.
This photo was taken of him in November with Marjory from Greensburg UMC.

Precious Little Jude,

I wonder how life would’ve been different for you under other circumstances. You were born in the poorest country in our hemisphere, and you quickly became an economic orphan. Your parents were still alive, but they couldn’t afford to care for you. Instead, you were entrusted to a larger family – the Church. You were embraced by a circle of love from the Catholic sisters in Fondwa. Your cries and laughter echoed in the guest house halls as they took turns caring for you.

I met you once when you were four months old. Your pudgy cheeks and bright eyes captured our attention. I understand that you grew up to be an active toddler who was timid around strangers, especially those funny-looking Americans who stayed in your home.

Your namesake, the Jude of Holy Scriptures, is one of the shortest books of the Bible. It has only one chapter, much like your life. But it contains some very powerful words, including the blessing that God will keep us from falling.

Of course, it appears your life was one of falling – into poverty, distress, and eventually the trembling earth. One place you never fell, however, was into the abyss of loneliness or abandonment. You always had the sisters, the other children from the orphanage, and the community of Fondwa surrounding you. While we’ve yet to learn the exact circumstances of your death, we know that you had Sister Oudel watching over you, to remind you that you are a beloved child of God.

Rest in peace, sweet boy. You are never, ever alone.

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