As our medical relief team left Banda Aceh, we each shared a high and low from the previous days.
The low point for me was clear. Standing on Saney village’s now barren beach was a stark and somber experience. The town and three-fourths of its people were swept away.
The high point for me was on Wednesday morning. I was asked to examine a baby who had been delivered by the hospital midwife early that morning. I love well baby checks.
The baby was his mother’s fifth. He was a big, robust baby boy in perfect health.
However, the experience was bittersweet for his mother. The three tsunami waves had taken her husband and two of her children. She described how she had been underwater, struggling for breath, but sinking due to her pregnancy. She had been pulled to safety and had managed to survive the waves.
I was honored when the mother asked me to give the baby a name. I offered my father’s name, Salim, which means ‘peace’ in Arabic. She liked the name as it is not uncommon among the devoutly Muslim Acehnese.
My prayer for that baby and for the Acehnese is that they would come to know the true Prince of Peace.
Another highlight occurred last week. One of the translators on our team was a Malaysian who proclaimed herself a devout atheist. She was a huge help and a great fit for our team. Last week, we learned that her heart had changed. Our teammate has become a sister. Now she serves the Prince of Peace.
We have seen new life begin in the midst of death.