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Ask of Me, and I will make the nations your inheritance. (Ps 2:8)


Grieving For My Son

Dr. Claudia R. Wintoch

2 October 2006




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Dr. Claudia R. Wintoch
Centre Apostolique Malien
BPE 1654
Bamako, Mali
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Oct 16-24   Vienna

Oct 24-Nov 4   Western Austria

Nov 19   2nd Church Anniversary

Nov 26-Dec 2 (tbc)   Accra, Ghana


After over a month of not writing, I've written three updates in a matter of a few days. I apologize if that has been an inconveniece to anybody, and I promise to go back to the regular intervals now. Those wanting to know more can always check my daily blog.



As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly. (Prov 26:11)


This Scripture, as well as the story of the prodigal son, have been going round my mind over and over again since all this started.

Tonight I'm writing with a broken mother's heart, because my beloved son has left. I'm feeling such deep grief and have just been crying and crying and crying. I would never have thought possible that this day would come. All the other kids, but not him! Not the one with the most maturity, the one who's had visions and dreams, the one with the high calling, with an amazing heart of compassion, reaching out to the less fortunate, not the one playing the djembé with a passion, loving God and serving people

As he was packing his stuff, it started to rain. He's leaving all the comforts of his new life to go back to the bus station, to sleep in the wet, the cold, surrounded by drug addicts and prostitutes, begging for money daily to survive. We're not the only ones crying; heaven is weeping too, and hard, with the rainy season being more or less over..

Sekouba has had many health issues, taking medication all the time since our doctor started testing everyone. Sekouba is always in pain - his eyes (he needs glasses - appointment was on the 12th) - and his stomach and back. In fact he was supposed to have a gastroscopy to identify the problem, in the meantime taking medication after every meal. Please pray for his health.

Emma talked to him this morning, and for the first time he spoke. Emma has a pastor's heart, and since he doesn't live here, there is a certain distance that can be positive. Emma came back tonight to continue the conversation, and Sekouba told him the reason why he's leaving, but not allowing him to tell the rest of us.

That was pretty unsatisfactory. We were all sitting together to talk, but I still didn't get answers to my questions. But he did end up giving the reason for his leaving: it's my fault. He was blaming me for all kinds of things. I asked his forgiveness, and he said he forgave, but he was still leaving. He said he wasn't leaving Jesus, but wouldn't reply to why he was fasting and begging and singing Muslim songs. He wouldn't reply to any of my questions.

So finally we gathered around him to pray for him, to bless him, and let him go. One after the other prayed, kids and adults. Tears started running down my face, my heart breaking. Like I've done every night, I gave him my blessing as a mother, and spoke destiny into him. After we were all done, Emma left, because it was too much for him. Sekouba went to pack; he seemed unsure what he could take. I told him that all the clothes were his. I gave him his Bible, and the mp3-player that has part of the NT on it, as well as his recorded prophecy. Then I printed out the picture below that we only took yesterday, as a souvenir, writing on it that I love him (I was relieved he took it). I also gave him money to help him out. And I kept telling him that he could come back any time, because he's my son, and I'll be praying for him and waiting for him. To my surprise, before he left, he said to one of the others that he would be coming on Sundays. I had mentioned earlier that as a Christian you need to be part of a church and have fellowship with other Christians.

It gives me hope to know he intends to come back, even if it's occasionally. And I keep praying he will come to his right mind, that the light of God would penetrate the darkness, the confusion, so that once again he would return. I believe one reason the story of the prodigal son just keeps ringing inside of me, because Sekouba will return.

It was so hard to see him say good-bye to everyone and then walk away with his two backpacks, towards the bus station. In fact, I couldn't watch it and went to my room to just cry and cry before the Lord. After an extended time of crying and grieving, I got myself back together for the sake of my other kids, and went outside for a time of worship and prayer.


I'm proud of my kids because for the first time they've fasted two meals, both lunch and dinner. Instead of eating we had an hour of worship, Bible study and prayer each. During our evening get-together before bed, the kids said they liked the day, and tomorrow they're gonna fast again (since I proclaimed a 3-day-fast).

Without Sekouba, there was a hole on one hand, on the other hand there was a tangible difference in the atmosphere. It felt freer, lighter than the last week or two.

Abdiel was already sleeping. He's really sleeping a lot. And I had to talk to the other kids about the way they relate to him. Abdiel needs a lot of patience, and love, and showing how to do things. Hygiene is something totally foreign to him, and it repells the others. He also tends to stay to himself, instead of playing with them. I encouraged them to see Abdiel with the eyes of Jesus, and love him the way Jesus loves him, being patient and not giving up, showing him things, inviting him to play, and correcting him gently.


All this events have shown me again the importance of praying for our kids for the healing of their hearts, so that it won't ever come to an escalation like today. We've failed with Sekouba, but let's not make that mistake again. I really want to make an effort to make it to Ghana end of November, to be properly trained in the approach I'm trying to use to pray for them. As so often, it's the lack of money that is the problem, since the flight between Bamako and Accra is very expensive (800$). May the Lord make it possible!

Well, I'm exhausted after two intense days, and a little more sleep than the regular 5 hours wouldn't hurt. I wonder where my son has found refuge from the rain, but I do know that he has God as his refuge.

Living for HIM,


Saloum, Abdiel, Abdias, Fousseni, Sekouba
in the front: Sarata, Hama
in the back: Paul, Claudia, Firmin