Waiting for That Day
To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, March 2.
ukamaya’s son was the joy of her life. The baby boy, Shyam, was born shortly after Sukamaya got married at the age of 16 in Nepal.
But when Shyam was 8 months old, he fell ill with diarrhea. Sukamaya asked her husband to call a shaman for help. There were no doctors or hospitals near their remote mountain town. Whenever someone got sick, townspeople called the shaman.
“It’s because of an evil spirit,” the shaman said. “He is angry with your family. You need to sacrifice a pig to make the spirit happy.”
But no one had time to sacrifice a pig. As Sukamaya and her husband spoke with the shaman, the baby died on her lap.
The shock was enormous. Sukamaya fainted and remained unconscious for three days. When she awoke, she refused to eat or drink. She didn’t want to live anymore.
Her husband and neighbors sought to encourage her.
“Maybe you will have another son,” they said.
A year later, Sukamaya gave birth to a daughter. She named the girl Shyam, the same as her son. She was happy. She saw that she had a reason to live. She needed to live for her daughter.
However, Sukamaya’s husband started drinking after the death of their son. Gradually, the family fell into financial problems because of his drinking.
Sukamaya, meanwhile, watched with loving care as Shyam grew up and got married at the age of 20. Shyam wed a distant relative who lived in the same town.
Tragedy struck when Shyam was pregnant with her first child. Complications set in one evening. She needed urgent medical assistance. The town still had no doctor or hospital, so townspeople placed Shyam onto a makeshift stretcher and carried her to the next town. There were no roads, and they carried her for four hours. At the next town, which had a road, she was loaded into an ambulance and rushed to the nearest city with a hospital. She died on the way.
The death dealt a severe blow to Sukamaya. She drank heavily with her husband for several days. It seemed like death and darkness were surrounding them. The couple wept uncontrollably at Shyam’s funeral. Among the well-wishers who consoled them at the funeral was a Seventh-day Adventist pastor. He had heard about the deaths of the couple’s only two children, and he offered them hope. He opened his Bible and read the words of Jesus, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16, NKJV).
The Bible verse puzzled Sukamaya. She couldn’t understand it. She wondered, “How could somebody never die by believing in Jesus?”
Seeing her confusion, the pastor turned in his Bible to Luke 8:52 and read the words of Jesus, “Do not weep; she is not dead, but sleeping.”
Sukamaya felt comforted. Could it be that her daughter Shyam was only sleeping? She wanted to know more. Several days after the funeral, she asked the pastor to explain the verses. He began to give her Bible studies.
During one of those Bible studies, the pastor asked, “Do you want to see your children when Jesus comes?”
Sukamaya’s eyes blinked brightly. “Yes!” she exclaimed.
She gave her heart to Jesus.
Today, Sukamaya is a faithful Adventist. She tried to share her hope with her husband, but he refused to listen. His alcoholism led to his premature death.
Sukamaya now lives at home alone, but she knows that she is not really alone. She said she lives with Jesus. She is happy because she believes that Jesus will come and resurrect her son and daughter one day soon.
“I will hug them because they are my children, my heart,” she said. “One of the reasons that I became a Christian is because I hope to see them again. I’m waiting for that day.”
Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help establish a school where children can learn about Sukamaya’s hope in Nepal. Thank you for planning a generous Thirteenth Sabbath Offering on March 30.