Life & Death – You will be missed Francis

IMG_2489Mankind had it good in the beginning.  No death.  No sin.  And God walked beside us and spoke directly to us.  And then we committed a tragic mistake and sin entered the world through us.  Death appeared.  Physical and spiritual death.  And all of the ugliness that comes with it.

A few days ago we were reminded that we are not promised our physical life for any specific amount of time.  We do not and cannot know the number of our days.  A good friend of the ministry of WorldVenture Ghana passed from the physical world.  It was unexpected.  It was sudden.  And we are saddened.  Francis Doomson was a friend of many.  He could be counted on and trusted to navigate the cultural land mines our ministry could step on.  He was a leader.  Our ministry and our lives are left with a hole in them.  He will be sorely missed.

We have many wonderful memories of Francis.  His infatuation with Hulk Hulgan.  His lecture of Dada Boat about how long it takes to drive to the boarder of Burkina Faso.  His tender care of all of our short-term teams.  On one occasion we were hiking in a slippery area and our daughter found her footing difficult in the shoes she had chosen to wear.  Francis made her take his shoes and he wore hers so that she could walk safely along.  He was always serving people like that.

Only the Lord knows the number of our days.  On a personal level, Francis’ death is a reminder that we need to live on mission for Jesus Christ every moment of every day.  Never missing an opportunity to give witness about the hope we have.  We never know if the person we are with or we ourselves may be about to breathe our last physical breath.  His death brings sadness, awakening, purpose, intentionality, renewed focus, and joy.  Sadness and joy together?  Yes, we are saddened that he is no longer with us here but joyful to have known him in this life and that he is today before the throne of God, where we look forward to joining him when the number of our days has passed.

Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah (Psalm 39:5)

“Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; hold not your peace at my tears! For I am a sojourner with you, a guest, like all my fathers.” Psalm 39:12

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:  A time to be born, and a time to die; (Ecclesiates 3:1-2a)

And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, (Hebrews 9:27)

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Where am I?

Over the past two years we h57e69f29a29eca9f14f8cab0f7520ef4ave lived with, visited, and house sat for friends.  Some mornings we wake up wondering where we are.  Seriously.  We’ve spent the night in homes in St. Cloud, FL, Douglas, GA, Auburn, GA, Dacula, GA, Decatur, AL, Blue Springs, MO, St. Louis, MO, Charlotte, NC, Wilmington, NC, Dallas, TX, Accra, Ghana, and Nkwanta, Ghana.  In the Dacula/Auburn area alone we’ve spent the night in three different homes.  And let’s not forget the hotels in Denver, CO,Orlando, FL, Gatlinburg, TN, Palmer Lake,  CO, Littleton, CO, Accra, Ghana and Nkwanta, Ghana.  Whew!

Some mornings when we wake up we really have no idea where we are and it takes a moment for it come to us.  This is all part of the transition we live with.  And certainly we are extremely grateful for the many hospitable people who have hosted us and made their home our home.  As we write this blog we are house sitting for a family in our home church while they are away for a while.  And we are enjoying being together as family.

There will be a few more mornings we wake up possibly not knowing where we are but after June this year we will finally be in Africa for a while, in our home.  Our home!  That sounds wonderful.  Staying in one place for a while sounds wonderful too.  And we want you to know, just as many of you have opened your home to us, our home is open to you.  Come visit us anytime!

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Language. Confusion. Worship.

Language.  There was a time in this world that we all spoke the same language.  Have you ever traveled to a country that speaks a language you are unfamiliar with?  Now imagine you are from the US and you travel to France and can order fine cuisine right off the menu.  Or you are traveling to Germany and you need directions back to your hotel and you ask someone on the street and they respond and you understand them.  Imagine how much more simple life would be.

In Genesis 11 we are told that we did indeed once all speak one language.  But we used that simplicity in our lives to rebel against God in a way that caused Him to react by confusing us through languages.  We would no longer easily be able to communicate with one another.

As we press forward with learning Gikyode, the language of the Akyode people we’ve been called to minister to here in Ghana we are reminded how confusing different languages can be.  It’s hard work to learn another language, not impossible, but hard.  And to add to the confusion there are multiple different languages being spoken in the small village we live in.  It’s common to hear three or four different languages spoken within a few minutes of one another.

Today we visited a local church to encourage some of the young people we’ve connected with here.  In the service we attended we heard three different languages being spoken simultaneously.  Hard!  But as we sat in the three hour service trying to understand what was happening I was suddenly overwhelmed with the knowledge that God understood.  He understood EVERY SINGLE WORD.  This was a worship service for Him and He wasn’t confused by the multiple different languages.  The One who created language understands them all.

And this knowledge led to worship, even though I didn’t understand what was happening.  I worshiped as I realized we were seeing a tiny glimpse of the future Kingdom we read about in Revelation 7:9-12.  One day we will be part of an even larger worship service where more than three languages will be spoken simultaneously.  And it will be marvelous!

There is really only one language.  It’s the language of hope; of love; of redemption; of purpose; of worship.  It’s the language of Jesus Christ.  Through Him we are one.

 

Psalm 67

May God be gracious to us and bless us

and make his face to shine upon us,

Selah

That your way may be known on earth,

your saving power among all nations.

Let the peoples praise you, O God;

let all the peoples praise you!

 

Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,

for you judge the peoples

with equity

and guide the nations

upon earth.

Selah

 

Let the peoples praise you, O God;

let all the peoples praise you!

 

The earth has yielded its increase;

God, our God, shall bless us.

God shall bless us;

let all the ends of the earth fear him!

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