Our hearts are broken. Abigail passed into eternity yesterday (Sunday) at 1:30 pm. The ground-breaking surgery she had 2 ½ months ago to correct her bladder-less body somehow went awry, and the potential of a normal life was cut short.
Is she enjoying Heaven with you, Jesus? Or the unimaginable alternative?
Jon, our steady intern, was impressed to go to the hospital and pray for Abigail early Fri morn. His heart has been ruined with the message of Hudson Taylor seeing millions of Chinese passing into a Christ-less eternity every day because there are none to share the simple, life-saving story with them. So he ran over to the hospital and shared the story and prayed with her as best he could. The next day Regina and I went and held her hand and stroked her hair and willed life into her fading body. I was impressed by the Spirit of Jesus to pronounce over her God’s heart – “You, Abigail, are set apart for God. You are the apple of His eye, and He will keep you safe from the enemy’s clutches. You are like a star and a saint – sanctified by His own choosing!” The next day she went to be with Him.
Oh, how I wish we had a tight community like Amy Charmichael’s in India, where there would only be celebration when a little one died – no tears allowed – knowing they were going to be with Jesus and it would only be a small time of separation from their family of love. No one outside their compound walls mourned or even knew when one “graduated”. And every one inside the walls was living in the atmosphere of Jesus’ throne room every day – heaven was not a distant land. When we have 50 fatherless children living here with us, will we have such a community? Will we be able to celebrate when one goes to be with Jesus?
In stark contrast, the community Abigail lived in is so dark and hopeless. The funeral will be a dirge of despair and fear. This is the sixth death in the past two months since we have been gone! Everyone is terrified they may be next. People are moving because of fear of a great witch having put a curse on the area. Many are suspecting the curse has something to do with the presence of these missionaries in the land. We would not be surprised if there would soon be some backlash and public accusations at us – particularly since we were instrumental in the surgical correction of Abigail, and two of the people who died were our main disciples – our “Peter and John”. At Robson’s funeral it was commanded that “none of the people who work for Dan may put dirt on the coffin, or you will immediately die!” – suspecting that one of them had paid a witch to kill him because he was advancing in our favor too much.
Pray for us. We feel like the powers of hell have been unleashed and allowed free reign. We don’t understand it all. At times we have been discouraged and confused and our message of hope in the unshakable promise of God is lacking conviction and power. We pray that this situation may bring a turning to Jesus like never before, but we are not sure how.
Last night as we were sitting outside for dinner – trying to find a breath of coolness after the 110 degree day – we began to share our hearts – some discouragement, some hope, some questions. Soon we began to pray, and eventually God began to breathe courage into us. In a short while I could sense in my own heart renewed hope. And then He came! Suddenly, as a prayer of faith was going up strong in victory and faith, He came! Like a mighty rushing wind He came! It was so powerful – it scared some – it shook the trees and blew the door back and forth, throwing dust and debris in such a powerful display like we have never seen! And we knew God Almighty, the Lord of Heaven and Earth, is securely on the Throne. Singanga has not escaped His notice. His arm is not too short to save!
Here is the hope we are left with – will you join us in a prayer of faith:
2 Chron 7:12-16 > “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place. For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that My name may be there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.”