It was 3 a.m. when Dalsi began to deliver her baby, and what should have been a happy occasion turned to tragedy when things went wrong.
By 5:15 a.m. – before there was enough light for a plane to land in her tiny, remote village and take her to a hospital – she was dead.
Missionaries Brooks and Nina Buser called Dalsi’s death “one of the hardest things we have seen.”
Yet there was something different about Dalsi’s death, something that even a few years ago could not have been said about any Yembiyembi person.
“Matthew, her husband, … was teaching her every night,” Brooks and Nina wrote. Since she came from another village, she had not heard God’s Word presented from Creation to Christ’s death, burial and resurrection when it was presented in Matthew’s village.
“He was growing more and more confident that she understood the Gospel, especially in the last week,” the Busers wrote. “Many of us feel she did and we will see her some day. That is our hope.”
And that hope is helping Matthew, who is hurting but keeping a godly perspective.
“Matthew has been incredible in his testimony,” Brooks and Nina wrote. He is not following the spirit-cleansing rituals, which according to traditional Yembiyembi beliefs means Dalsi’s spirit is still near and could harm him or others. Without the ritual, he is specifically expected to stay out of jungle, yet he’s gone hunting to provide food for his family and his in-laws.
Matthew is also “speaking openly that he will see her again,” the couple wrote. “He grieves but still has hope.”
He also has the child Dalsi died delivering, a boy. “As you can imagine he and Matthew are inseparable, even though this is not the cultural norm for Yembiyembi people,” the Busers wrote.
Please pray for Matthew. Pray that he knows the comforting presence of God, and that this and his hope strengthen him to continue to be a bold witness before those who do not believe.