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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

But the Kingdom Comes


As a team, as a mission, it is much more clear to see that the World Goes Not Well this week than that the Kingdom comes. Violence continues in Kenya, the death toll is getting uncomfortably close to 1,000. Those are not just numbers, they are real people who fled for their lives, whose last moments were terrifying and painful, almost all due to the blunt force of machetes and similar weapons. A Kenyan friend Esther called us this week, to assure us she was still OK. The Carrs and Kimberly are bravely attempting to aid the displaced and disoriented while the country struggles to regain equilibrium. On Sunday we felt tremors from earthquakes that hit Rwanda and Congo. Today we learned that one of the newest WHM missionaries, a 21 year old woman appointed to the Spain team, was killed in a car wreck in Colorado when she traveled from the pre-field training program (MTI) to church. I’ve chronicled some of the heartache of disappointment and loss in the last couple of days here.

Yet the Kingdom comes, even when we can’t see it. Stephanie led a great meditation this morning, hearkening back yet again to Psalm 130, which God seems to be bringing to us over and over, the idea of watchmen waiting for the morning. In the darkness we strain, knowing that light will surely come. She spoke of deliverance, which sometimes comes so subtly and quietly we fail to notice the mercies that flow over us, food and friendship and sunshine and health. Sometimes, it comes dramatically in the 11th hour, just when hope seems to be beyond our grasp, as God keeps us in suspense and stretches our faith. And sometimes it comes after hope has gone, after the worst has happened, after what we dreaded has occurred, as in the death of Jonah. This deliverance is only found in the resurrection, the assurance that death is not the end.

So today let me give a small testimony to 11th hour deliverance, to a taste of Kingdom Come. Mumbere is alive (see his picture above from today and one below from one year ago). I left him yesterday comatose, grunting, floppy, with a body full of malaria parasites and thick snot flowing out of his lungs when I tried to give some chest PT. I really did not think he would pull through this time. As I biked to the hospital this morning, I was trying to decide if I could still manage all I had committed to today if I went to his burial, because I’d really want to be there. But when I walked through the doors, there he was sitting with his grandmother. Awake, alert, grumpy. I gave him a piece of candy I had in my pocket, which he snatched up and opened with no problem. Amazing. His life still hangs by a frayed thread, but he’s not gone yet. The Kingdom Comes, in small slow steps, in small dark bodies, one at a time.

8 comments:

Natalee said...

Jennifer,
I so needed to read this post. Thank you. I desperately need to be reminded of the Kingdom right now...
Love,
Nat

Pamela said...

Praise God Mumbere is still alive!! Praying that God, in his mercy, will extend Mumbere's life here on earth for a few more hours, days, months, perhaps even years..

-Pamela

Michelle said...

I found your blog from a link on Scott Ickes blog, we went to MTI together. I spent about a year in CAR and my heart still beats Africa. This weekend my friends became refugees as rebels entered Chad and I've been struggling. Thank you for this dose of perspective.

masterdesigned said...

Even as I have logged in to read the latest to know how to pray for encouragement for you and those within your influence, my heart is touched and encouraged - thank you! May you continue to see all the places where "the Kingdom comes"!

Cindy said...

Hi to the Myhres family. My name is Cindy Nore, and my daughter Jessica Pety is the 21 year old missionary who died Sunday on the way to church from MTI.

I have been reading your posts for many months now. Jessica had originally hoped to be a part of your team there in Uganda, as her heart as so burdened for Africa. We found out that because she has lupus, an autoimmune disorder, she could not have a yellow fever vaccine. She was so excited to find an alternative plan, which was to go to Spain.

Sarah Reber is one of Jessica's friends, and that is how we learned of the Ebola situation in your town. I started reading your posts every day, and I would just weep and weep for all that your family, your friends, and your village was going through. I was so very touched by your postings - they were so beautifully, poigniantly written accounts of all the emotions one experiences in the face of darkness and tragedy. When Dr. Jonah died, I felt devastated and really wrestled along with you with the hows and whys of God's will - even when I read of your dog dying, I couldn't believe that burden was added to your children's grief.

Many mornings, instead of having devotions in my living room, I spent the time reading your posts. They had more of an impact on my relationship with God than I can explain and helped me to really wrestle with issues like His providence, how evil seems so real, how God shows small mercies that He knows we need in the dark times, and how precious it is to have the body of Christ to hold those of us up who are weak.

I just felt unusually connected to you emotionally and couldn't really explain why. Now I know why - God in His mercy was preparing for the call we got Sunday night to tell us that Jess had gone to be home with her Saviour. We are burying her earthly body today but know that she is living with a resurrected body in Heaven. We are also celebrating her life today and again next week at Furman University, from which she had just graduated. Pray that through all this, people would be pointed to Jesus. It is all Jessica cared about doing - Jesus was her very best friend, and if she can lead others to that place even in her death, she will be delighted. Thank you for allowing me to share from the heart.

Grace4Life said...

To Cindy Nore from Johnny & Becky Long - World Harvest UK. Hugs to you, Cindy... we've just read your post re: Jessica. Bless you! You have and are living a parent's worst nightmare - the one Becky and I pray will never happen to ours. How good of God to prepare your heart the way only He can. We feel we've been denied a great blessing by not having met your Jessica - one of OUR FAMILY twice over - Heavenly and WHM - who "laid down her life" pursuing the ultimate calling. We WILL meet her - and you - when God will wipe away every tear. Praying for, hurting with -and rejoicing with you in the Promise we have in the Gospel!
- Johnny & Becky - WHM UK

Cindy Nore said...

Hi Johnny and Becky - you have NO idea how encouraging your note was to me, and I thank you so much for reaching out to me.

Today we are headed up to Furman University, where Jessica actually graduated in December. (She even wrote her own degree program there in International Development, and I just got her degree verification letter; she was even a magna cum laude graduate : ) Jessica's pastor and friends have planned what I know will be a wonderful celebration of her life - her burial here (Atlanta) was last Saturday morning, and her celebration service here was later that day. Over 700 people came, and I think it would have been impossible to leave that service without being challenged to seriously evaluate how you are living your life and spending your time.

Pray that today's service will bring glory to our Jesus. I have heard that some of Jessica's friends area struggling with their faith in the midst of what looks like senseless tragedy; pray against the enemy, who so wants to snatch away the faith of this next generati on.

Thank you SO much for your prayers and encouragement! God Bless - Cindy Nore
P.S. I am attaching a link to the article done here on Jess (another miracle - the Atlanta Journal is SO liberal, and I can't believe they were this bold in talking about God!)
http://www.ajc.com/search/content/metro/gwinnett/stories/2008/02/04/missionary0205.html

Cindy Nore said...
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