Dear friends and family,
Our dear sister in Christ, Sara passed away last evening. The news was delivered to me by Liliana ( almost 11 yrs old) as she raced upstairs with a look of terror on her face, running towards me to grab me tight. “Mummy Sara has died!” In the confusion of it all, my first words were “Sara WHO?” I know several called Sara and I have a niece Sarah. “It’s Sara, Brandon and Daniela’s mummy, why did she HAVE to die mummy?”
To set the scene: These last few weeks have been filled with many emotions. My last blog post was in response to Sara’s death and resuscitation in the ambulance and a plea for prayer for her and her family. During this time, which I did not mention in my last post we had 2 houseguests staying with us, I had my final coursework presentation, our fridge broke down(no fridge for a week in 34 degree weather), Anayah was ill, missing school on and off for 2.5 weeks, and then I came down with the diarrhea vomiting sickness until there was nothing left in my body, and even now, I have very little energy. Now, today it’s Andrew’s turn. The health department here in Santa Cruz has issued a red alert on influenza. Hospitals are full. We also said goodbye to good friends who have left the Bolivian mission field to return to Canada. Like I said, an emotion-filled few weeks. It seemed like things were a bit out of control, but, thankfully our hope is in Christ.
Then there’s Liliana’s question. “Why did Sara HAVE to die Mummy?” My response was not particularly profound. I said she did not HAVE to die, but she did. It was bedtime and I thought the best thing was to pray and get some rest. Liliana seemed ok with that.
I was up most of the night thinking and praying about my response. This morning the words on my heart are ‘abundant life.’ In particular, the scripture which says I have come to give you life, abundant life. ( John 10:10 below)
What is abundant life? Sara died at age 31. How is that abundant?
Abundant life, is it about material possessions? or about what we get, or claim? OR is abundant life about what we receive as a gift from the Lord and to live knowing we are stewards of the blessings of God? In the midst of her suffering, Sara was blessing others with her grateful and open heart. She inspired others with her steadfast faith in Jesus and commitment to her faith which she shared in the community of Satelite Norte. She knew that every day of her life was a gift. Now, she is with her Abba father, living the most abundant life: eternal life. Her hope was in Christ.
Eph 2: 8:9 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
John 10:10b. I have come so that they may have life, and have it more abundantly.
We are joyful today, confident in the truth that Sara is with our Abba, Father. She ran the race, she stayed the course, although her life was shorter than what we think it should be, it was a richly blessed abundant life here on earth and it’s not the end! Her hope was in Christ.
“Often we say that Christ will meet us on the other side. That is true, of course, but misleading. Let us never forget that He walks with us on this side of the curtain and then guides us through the opening. We will meet Him there because we have met Him here.” – Erwin Lutzer
The funeral is today. Please pray for Pastor Bely and Claire as they go to help Daniel to prepare for the funeral this morning. Please pray that Andrew can attend, that somehow he can muster the energy and feel better to get to Satélite Norte today to support this family. Please pray for husband Daniel, son Brandon(14) and daughter Daniela(12). Death is hardest on those left behind. Please pray that the supernatural love of our Father in heaven will comfort and strengthen the family and loved ones in the community of Satélite Norte. Daniel said that throughout these times with Sara’s illness and recent hospitalisation that he felt the presence of God, always. Pray that continues.
I sing this song today for Sara- In Christ Alone,
In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand
In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
‘Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live, I live
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
Till He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand
Much love to you all,