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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Quenching the Thirst

I pray this message finds you all well. I feel like I have to take a very deep breath right now to be able to write this post. I know that my posts recently have been a little "heavy" but it is the reality of life at the moment in Kenya. In my last post I shared with you about the passing of one of my neighbors, a missionary pilot with AIM (Frank) and the hospitalization of my other neighbor, Ryan. Life on the compound was difficult this past week. I struggled with trying to find ways that I could serve these families but our AIM "family" here was incredible in supporting the family's, the wives, and the children of these two men. I realized that I needed to just be available for anything that might come up and to constantly be in prayer for everyone.

As the week went on we found out that Ryan (Missionary Mechanic who was in the hospital) was going to be moved to a burn unit in South Africa. We prayed that the Lord would deliver him down their safely... and he did. Shortly after his arrival in S.A. we received word to be praying for Ryan's health as it was deteriorating due to the infection in the burns. I know many of you were praying and I am so greatful. Friday morning we received word that the Lord took Ryan home to heaven. I was devastated with this news. The mood among everyone turned from saddness to complete overwhelming shock.

We lost two family members.
Two woman in our family are now widows.
Eight children in our family are now fatherless. much loss in a week.

I feel exhausted emotionally, but I know that can't compare to what these men's families are feeling. I pray for them whenever they come to mind... .which has been constant lately. Please join me in prayer as well... pray for their wives, their children, their parents, their family, their friends and all those who's lives have been effected by these two great men.

Death is something that is so hard to grasp. It is so immediate and perminate. I have had quite a few experiences with people in my life dying and it never gets easier. I remember calling my friend who was battling cancer to talk but instead, had her father answer the phone as he choked out the information that she had slipped into a coma and would never wake up again. I lost my breath... I remember hearing about a bad car accident on the interstate only to find out later that my friend was in the car and didn't make it. I felt my knees go weak.... And now, the news of this tragic accident was devistating. I hurt so badly for these families but they are incredible. Even tonight, the facebook status of one of the woman who lost her husband stated "We are well, it is well with my soul." My body ached, arms covered with goosebumps, and eyes filled with tears. How trusting of our Heavenly father to be able to say "It is well with my soul." ... and I know she means it. I am learning so much from my family here.... I am blessed with their strength, encouragement, comfort, and joy in the midst of such saddness.

As I said in a few previous blog posts, this summer has not been easy here. I've had series of ups and downs in life. Some with closure through understanding where I can grasp the lessons, others leave me wondering the purpose behind it. Those lessons are obviously the hardest. I'm often the stubborn one asking "why?" instead of realizing the refining that comes through these lessons... as if I feel that God owes me something such as answering the "why?".

I've been realizing that through all these ups and downs that God is a God of healing. One thing I know for sure, had it not been for the various heartbreaks, I would not have been able to see the Lord piece me back together. I would not have experienced Him turning my ashes into beauty. I would not have known what it means to make all things new. I'm still working on my heart and being able to say that all these trials were worth the pain... but I do know that I am greatful to be able to get to know another attribute of my savior: The Healer.

When going through these difficult times I often feel that I am so "thirsty" for healing water and for time with my Heavenly Father. The other day I was organizing some of my books and came across a blank journal. It is such a fun and beautiful journal with handmade paper... one of those journals that is so unique that I couldn't imagine ruining it by inking its pages... but I automatically knew what I wanted to do with this one. I needed a place to record my healing and record ways that the Lord is healing me. I wanted something that I can write down scripture, quotes, song lyrics, and words from friends that have helped me to "Quench the Thirst" in my soul. It has been so great to have so far...especially right now. I'm excited to create this book through my journey of the rest of my time in Africa. To record the mountains and valleys that He leads me through, and to be able to have something tangible to look back on and remember.

A friend of mine (Meghan M.) sent me this quote to help me to remember that no matter the pain I'm sharing in with the missionaries here, God has called me to a task here in Africa and that no matter what, I need to be faithful to complete it. And yes, this quote is indeed going to make it into my book because it has helped me to "Quench the Thirst"...

"Yesterday you experienced a great sorrow and now your home seems empty. Your impulse is to give up amid your dashed hopes. Yet, you must defy that temptation for you are at the front lines of battle and the crisis is at hand. Faltering for even one moment would put God's interest at risk. Other lives will be harmed by your hesitation and His work will suffer if you simply fold your hands. You must not linger at this point, even to indulge your grief."


Echojuliet said...

Thank you friend. I love that quote, and am going to put it in my toolbox.

Courtney said... for you and all the families affected!

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