Phoebe Clark (2001 – 2008)

03/24/08

On Wednesday, February 27, 2008, Phoebe Clark, one of our precious children in Sierra Leone, went to be with her Savior at the age of six. Phoebe’s six years on this earth were not easy. She was born with cerebral palsy, a neurological condition that causes physical disability, permanently affecting body movement and muscle coordination. Phoebe’s full mental capacity was never known.

Phoebe’s parents or caretakers, noticing her obvious condition at birth, abandoned her in a dumpster in Freetown shortly after she was born. Responding to the baby’s cries, several good citizens found her and took her to the police station, not knowing what else to do. From there, Phoebe was placed in an institution where she received food, but little else. Shortly thereafter, the Ministry of Social Welfare became aware of Phoebe and alerted COTN to her situation. Phoebe then came to live in our home in Marjay Town where she finally received the medical attention and care she needed.

Phoebe was tossed in a dumpster to die, discarded by her earthly parents, counted as nothing but God saw her as His precious child. He had other plans for her and He had a purpose for her on this earth. Because of her condition, Phoebe could not walk or talk—by earthly standards many would say she served no purpose. But her very presence in this world taught those who came in contact with her some of life’s most important lessons. Phoebe taught her brothers and sisters that where there is a breath, there is life—and where there is life, there is value. Phoebe could never verbally express her belief or love of the Lord—she couldn’t recite Bible verses, she couldn’t sing in church, she couldn’t pray aloud. Yet despite this, God loved her, she was one of His treasures.

So often we try to please God by our acts—by serving, by going to church, by praying, by reading the Bible. But even if we couldn’t talk, even if we couldn’t walk, even if all we could do was lay on a bed all day long like Phoebe, His love for us would still remain, having no bounds. The Lord’s love is not contingent on whether or not we pray, or go to church, or live a right life. His love is not earned, it simply is.

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19

We praise God because Phoebe is no longer trapped in her earthly body. She is now able to sing and dance and praise the Lord in whatever way she chooses. We pray that her ministry doesn’t end with her death but that it would continue on through the hearts of those who loved her.