This passed week has been one of the most challenging times I had to face this year, actually I can say in my whole life. Early morning on Wednesday, April 27 one of my friends, Mina Helmy, passed away. As Mina and 13 other students were traveling from Zewak (a village in Upper Egypt) to Cairo, the microbus they were on got into an accident. As a result, one student died (Mina) , 9 went to the hospital, and 3 to emergency rooms. When brother first told me those horrible news I couldn’t believe him. I immediately skyped with my mom who happened to be online. Once I saw her black shirt, I realized that I was not dreaming. I knew that someone had died.
Mina was a 19 year old senior who had big plans for further education. Mina was the brother to one of my very good friend and a classmate of mine, Joseph Helmy. It was hard to take it all in. How can one minute change everything? Mina is not the only one that Nile Union Academy lost this year of 2011. On April 1 Nahid Longi (a Sudanese student) died her sleep. Within 1 month the school lost two students from the senior class.
I didn’t know what to do. I called the library and asked one of my friends to cover for me because I needed some time alone. I sat on my bed looking through the window with tears flowing from both eyes like streams of water questioning, “Why? Why? Why? Why another one? Why young people? Why NUA? Why didn’t you save him? And why don’t you just come back now and put all these tragedies to an end?” A while ago, Pastor Sam Leonor said that most people give up on God when they lose a loved one. When I first heard this statement it didn’t really make sense, but after going through the lost of one of my friends, it made a lot of sense.
It was so hard to be far away. I needed to be with my family and friends who are hurt. It was so hard to teach when my mind was thousands of miles away. It was hard to be around people who did not understand how I felt or how much I was hurting inside. What was even harder was the fact that I didn’t feel the presence of God in my life. I couldn’t be comforted. I couldn’t have peace. And I couldn’t feel God. My life was a mess! “God, when will you help me? Do you even care? Are you really gonna come back to take us to heaven? Do you even exist?” I questioned and questioned and questioned. You might think that it is wrong to question all this but honestly that’s what was going through my mind.
Well, God proved me wrong. And I love it when He does this. This passed Sabbath Pastor Marland May came all the way from Taxes to preach at Maxwell Adventist Academy. The title of his sermon was, “How can a caged bird sing?” Before Marland started his sermon he prayed and said, “Lord, may it be your words not mine.” I fully believe that God was speaking not Marland. In this sermon God told me, “Germeen, I am near even when you don’t feel that I am. I am coming back ASAP to put all these sad things to an end. I care and I love you so much.” Now, you might think that it was a coincidence that Pastor Marland had to preach at Maxwell this Sabbath. However, I don’t. I believe that God sent him all the way from the US to deliver a message He had for me. We ended the church service by singing “When peace likes a river” Every world of this song made so much sense to me. “And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight, the clouds be rolled back as a scroll; the trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, Even so, it is well with my soul.” The last verse of the song was my prayer.
So how can a caged bird sing? Because it doesn’t matter where it is at, it chooses to sing. I left the church believing that I was touched by the precious hands of God. I cried, but this time it was tears of a person who could finally find comfort. And now I pray that these same hands that touched my heart would touch the families that grieve the lost of their loved ones. I pray that despite of all that they go through, that they might find comfort in Jesus Christ. I pray that He would prove them wrong just like He did with me.