Mamata, Dare I Hope?

Mamata, I got to watch you grow and make your mistakes along the way;
Scrubbing floors with your little one at home, like so many everyday.
Another poor choice: a second baby, with still another man.
Wishing for more, looking for love, trapped in the cycle of strife.

You were a hard working young woman, living the village life.
So many times I prayed for you and called others to do the same:
“God, please break through to her. I so want to see her change.
“Make her part of my inheritance, as we join You around Your Throne.
“God, please make a way for her to know Your love for her in Jesus came.
“Few choices, seeing only one way. Yet help her find Your Home.”

The news of your wedding came, bringing with it chance at last.
A Christian husband, something I dared not even ask.
A chance to see a different life, lived out in African skin.
“Please, God, don’t let him beat her. He’s different now within.
“Let his love be the link that brings her eternal prize.”

You died so suddenly, my friend, without me knowing why.
Quickly: malaria? an accident? a pregnancy gone awry?
I’m sure they’ll tell me when I get home, though it really won’t matter then.
For they can never tell me the thing I wish most to know:
Did you choose Him as your Savior, before it was time to go?

It’s not just for you I cry, as I’m left to grieve your fate.
So many others, just like you, for whom it’s now too late.
Gentle Imam Momodou, barely conscious when we returned,
Mouctar, Mayor Solo, Fatu’s Sale, Aminata’s one.
Uncertainty brings so much pain: Has the Enemy won?

So many years, so little fruit. Many, many tears.
Small bits of happiness, yet suffering from pains that sear.
Your constant struggles for life, consequences of the Curse.
Unknowing choices pushing hope away, because of “what’s always been.”
Won’t you come home to Jesus, just one lost friend?

Mamata, I had such hopes for you and many, many more.
A woman I could call my own, an eternal sister walking through Heaven’s door.
Mamata, dare I hope for you? Will I see you one time more?
Mamata, I must hope for you, for I need courage to go on.
“God, I’m weary, feeling spent. Won’t You let me see just one?”

This piece was originally published by Thrive Ministry on Connection. Thrive is a nonprofit organization that exists to replenish women ministering overseas. To learn more, visit thrive

Iya and her husband Chocho love a West African people who follow a different holy book. They work on a beautiful multicultural translation team that has finished the Pentateuch and is working hard on the New Testament. Iya believes her host country has the best mangoes in the world, and if you visit her, she’ll make you a mango pie to prove it. She and Chocho are parents to two adult daughters who grew up in West Africa.
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