Walking last autumn amid the wall studding with ceiling joists overhead, I found nostalgia edging into my conscious thoughts. Afterwards I wrote:
These are hallowed halls. Inaugurated as the
On our last visit, we’d had the long hallways and spacious rooms to ourselves. My mind plays the sound of footsteps of our kids running the halls as they do battle with plastic pellet guns. (With this, I wave good-bye to any future bookings at guesthouses.)
Actually, we only thought we had it to ourselves; there were other guests. “The termites holding hands,” the saying goes, and it fits the scene around my feet. I thought sawdust was littered about; it was termite droppings.
(A 3:45 minute audio interview from the demolition site is available. Please click here.)
I’ve seen a black and white photo of Roger Youderian nailing roofing to the structure. That was late 1955. The photo doesn’t reveal his discouragement but he’d journaled, “We might pass Christmas here, finish the hospital in Shell, and head home.”
Not long after, he and four other young men were speared to death while attempting to evangelize a yet unreached tribe, the Aucas, with the gospel. Now known as the Waorani, they count many Christians among themselves. Many follow and teach God’s carvings.
Christmas. A finished work. And heading home.
A final Christmas for one . . . introduces the celebration of Christmas to many.
(hospital photo: D. Birkey)