April 10, 2020

Goodbye… for now

This morning our short term intern, Emily, left on a special “repatriate” flight back to the states. Emily was supposed to be on mission with us until August, but with the uncertainty of the travel bans, we all thought it wise that she take the only flight that is guaranteed to go out in the foreseeable future.

We are sad to lose our only non-family “quaranteam” member- it’s now just the four of us on the farm and we will miss seeing another face, especially someone as pleasant as Emily. She doesn’t know what may come or if she will be returning to Eswatini again. 

So, we say Goodbye to her… for now.

Yesterday, we received the shocking news that a long-time family friend and ministry supporter passed away due to a serious car accident the day before. In a time when we are so focused on the pandemic, it’s almost easy to forget that people are still dying of other unexpected causes. 

We are grieved that we are so far away to comfort her loved ones, but glad we saw her during our furlough last year. This friend was a perpetual encourager, good listener, prayer warrior, and an amazing example of Christ’s love. She hardly had a harsh word for anyone but was a voice of reason and peace. We already miss her, but we are certain she is in heaven dancing with Jesus now. 

So, we say Goodbye to her… for now.

Today we celebrate Good Friday. The remembrance of Jesus dying on the cross- covering the death our own sin should rightfully bring us. His great love for us not to suffer our own consequences is what led him to pain, humiliation, then a grave.

So, we say Goodbye to him… for now.

How dark the next days would have felt to his friends, family, disciples- their great friend and teacher gone and with no knowledge of what was to come. 

But how much can change in three days? Sunday we look forward to celebrating his empty tomb- his rise to life! His victory over death elates my soul. How can it be that he shares that victory with me- that I should benefit from his gift so I can live free from the power of sin, not under condemnation but under his great love! 

The renewed life this brings us is so welcome in these trying days! It’s so encouraging that God is our shelter, he is our redeemer, our provider, and our friend. Please let these verses seep into your heart; God loves us and has great things in store for those who love him and trust in his son. The story is not finished yet!

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

1 Peter 1:3
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Romans 6:8-11
Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Colossians 3:1-4
Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.

Psalm 71
In you, LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me; turn your ear to me and save me. Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of those who are evil and cruel. For you have been my hope, Sovereign LORD, my confidence since my youth. From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb. I will ever praise you. I have become a sign to many; you are my strong refuge. My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long. Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone. For my enemies speak against me; those who wait to kill me conspire together. They say, “God has forsaken him; pursue him and seize him, for no one will rescue him.” Do not be far from me, my God; come quickly, God, to help me. May my accusers perish in shame; may those who want to harm me be covered with scorn and disgrace. As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds, of your saving acts all day long— though I know not how to relate them all. I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign LORD; I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone. Since my youth, God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come. Your righteousness, God, reaches to the heavens, you who have done great things. Who is like you, God? Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once more. I will praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, my God; I will sing praise to you with the lyre, Holy One of Israel. My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you— I whom you have delivered. My tongue will tell of your righteous acts all day long, for those who wanted to harm me have been put to shame and confusion.

If you don’t have experience walking with Jesus, please know that he wants to journey alongside you. He is  good, gracious, and completely worth it. If you have any questions, we would be happy to share our experiences with you and be a friend. If you have any prayer requests, or anything on your heart, please let us know!

Emily with our Family Isabella and Melinda Isabella and Zach Zach flies a kite