Goodbye for Now

I have joined the long defeat
That falling set in motion
All my strength and energy
Are raindrops in the ocean
I pray for an idea
And a way I cannot see
It’s too heavy to carry
And impossible to leave

I can’t just fight when I think I’ll win
That’s the end of all belief
And nothing has provoked it more
Than a possible defeat

We walk a while we sit and rest
We lay it on the altar
I won’t pretend to know what’s next
But what I have I’ve offered

Excerpted lyrics from “The Long Defeat”
Tell Me What You Know by Sara Groves

At 10:40 a.m. on Friday, September 5, 2008, little Virginia passed away. The medical staff at Beijing Children’s Hospital fought long and hard for her precious life, but in the end, her organs began shutting down and there was nothing more they could do. We are comforted by the fact that she is safe in the arms of her Father now, and no longer knows any pain or sorrow.

We are grieving Virginia’s lost life; the unique promise and future that died with her. And as a staff we are tired; the battle – spiritually, physically, and emotionally – is difficult and painful, and sometimes it feels as if we don’t have the strength to go on. Taking Virginia’s case so quickly after Liu Yi’s death was a difficult decision for our staff. We knew how serious her condition was, and we knew she had a small chance to live. However, the reason we exist is to help children like her, and so she joined our family and her burden became our burden.

Through this journey, we are learning that what makes our work a beacon of light in this dark world is that we are choosing to defiantly live in hope when the darkness of despair, futility, and unbelief swirl around. We may not win all battles – in fact, this journey might be a long defeat – but we will offer all we have. And when we lose a battle, we will stop, rest, and grieve. But then we will get back up and fight again. For we know that our King is good and He is strong, and His is the only Kingdom worth fighting for.

And someday, His Kingdom will fully and finally come.

7 thoughts on “Goodbye for Now

  1. I am very saddened to hear this news. Your journey reminds me of a quote from Erma Bombeck – When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, “I used everything you gave me”. – Keep using your talents to serve. You guys are really making a difference in this world.


  2. What a sad day that we, on this earth, would lose such a wonderful little girl. Who, already, in her short life, had been such an encouragement…She is perfect now and whole and pain free…and more beautiful than we could ever imagine….


  3. Reading your post reminds me of the words of David that gave me so much comfort when serving the fatherless last year. Ps.71:20,21– “You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but You will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth. You will restore me to even greater honor and comfort me once again. Then I will praise You….” We have hope that one day these children will be restored and lifted from the depths of the earth, restored to greater honor and comfort! But I also know that God will restore you each and every time you go through the valley. I’m praying for you all.


  4. I am so sorry for the loss of this precious child, and for the pain you all bear. But thank you for your willingness to go through it time and again, for the good you do still matters. It matters to me and my daughter who is the strong, beautiful, thriving child she is thanks in part to you and the ND team. “Thank you for giving to the Lord…I am so glad you gave.”


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