Today I drove a girl home from the hospital. Her family wanted her to
die at home. I drove the green truck very carefully, trying to avoid
as many of the bumps as possible. Every so often her family and the
staff who had come to help with the stretcher and try to provide
comfort had to get out so I could drive across a stick bridge or make
it up a steep hill. I did my best, but she still cried out in pain.

Seventeen-year old Asaitu didn't know that by choosing to become
intimately involved with her friend would lead to pregnancy. Trying to
salvage her reputation and get rid of her "problem," she decided to
try to self-abort with a stick. She had no clue about the
consequences of these decisions. How could she have predicted that
she would get an infection, that her left leg would become gangrenous
and have to be cut off at the groin, and that the infection would
spread to her other leg, sealing her fate?

Sleeping with her boyfriend and then having an abortion; obviously bad
decisions, but still, two mistakes and now she has to die? Why does
she have to bear the brunt of her choices, and so many other people
don't? I've sinned before, and I'm still alive; why her? These are
the thoughts that whirl in my mind as I grip the steering wheel
tightly, trying, by sheer determination to keep from jarring the
stretcher balanced on the bed of the truck.

Later, at her house, I tried to think of a scripture to read. All I
could think of was "Even though I walk through the valley of the
shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me." Scott
Barlow, the hospital matron, shared about the hope we have in Jesus,
and then prayed and annointed her. A few Ormos also gave little
sermonettes while the flies gathered and the sweat dripped from our

Most of the people who rode back to Gimbie with us weren't notably
sad. In fact, one boy asked me if I was all right. Life is
difficult, he said. Yes, I guess so.

So, I keep living, meeting my own challenges, making my own poor
choices. I don't often think about the consequences of my decisions.
I usually just do whatever seems best to me, given the information I

So did she...


  1. This post cuts home on me.

  2. This week in ethics class we have been studying abortions: right, wrong, consequences, complications. It is heartbreaking. Thanks for sharing, Joel.

  3. thank u for sharing. Gave me different perspective on some things. I am praying for her.

  4. That's pretty sobering, but true. Thanks for that lesson.

  5. I shared this story in one of my worships last weekend. Thanks for sharing it with us.


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