Our first stop was along the road that leads out of Quelimane to the villages. This was the road Jeremiah would drive out of town on as he made his way out to the villages where he worked. It was paved, but really only a bit wider than a single lane road. The edges of the road were eroded and dropped off just a few inches to the flat dirt on both sides. The dirt on either side of the road was about 10 feet wide, very normal looking. Small businesses lined the road, lots of people walked and rode bicycles along it. We pulled over by a lumber supply yard onto the dirt alongside of the road and got out. This was the place where Jeremiah's accident happened. We just stared at the road....nothing dangerous looking. It was not as you would picture the scene of a fatal accident. John showed us where the motorcycle had fallen, where he found it when he had come back with the police later. Sobrinio remained silent and somber. Emotions were sad. There was a huge sense of "how could this happen".
It just did...it happened.
The hospital was not far away. Jeremiah was alive (yet not talking or responsive) when he'd lain in this spot, but had passed away by the time the driver got him to the hospital. Sobrinio does not remember much, just that when he opened his eyes and looked at his friend, Jeremiah could not talk and laid there quietly, probably in shock.
We talked a lot about trusting God the rest of the day, even the villagers we met talked of trusting God with this. We can only guess on any reasons God would let this happen, but really no one can know or understand the mind of God....how He works and what His plans include or why.
We do trust God. I think all of us do here on this visit. It is good though, it's healing in fact, to reaffirm this trust with God and each other after a senseless event happens and it shakes us to the core.
I remembered Sobrinio's encouragement to us just the day before at the memorial service was this:
Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18