Today is “Heaven Day,” the day Chris went to Heaven. It has now been two years. Even as I write that, it’s hard to believe.
Chris’ sister, Kelly, asked for this e-mail because she wanted to read it again this year. I didn’t have it because I sent it on someone else’s computer the night Chris went Home. Actually, I hadn’t even READ it since sending it out that night. Thanks to some effort on August’s part, we now have it in our hands and I was able to read it. For those of you who haven’t read it, I have pasted it below. As I read through it, I was overcome with the peace God gave me that night and the answers to prayer we have seen since then. Continue reading past the italics for specific answers I have seen over the last two years…
“To all of you all over the world who have been praying fervently for us through this time, this is Michelle. I am letting you know that Chris is now whole, healed, and safely in the arms of his loving, gracious Savior.
Chris was actually pretty stable today, but has been having “tremors” or “seizures” over the last few days. These were extremely painful for me to watch him endure. Throughout these weeks, as we have had a knowledge of Chris’ brain being involved, I have been asking his Heavenly Father to heal Chris completely, make him whole, and not give him more than he could handle if there WERE outcomes that involved blindness, seizures, or brain damage of any kind. Chris has always been VERY specific with me that QUALITY of life is a priority for him. As his “tremors” increased this afternoon, they had to reduce the medicine he was getting for pain because it was causing his blood pressure to fall pretty rapidly. It was at that time that I knew what God had so mercifully decided for my beloved.
Present at Chris’ bedside were me, my mom who had just arrived from California two nights previous, Dudley & Jan, and a number of the nurses who had so faithfully and lovingly ministered to Chris. We shared the most intimate, deep, immensely moving worship time that I have ever experienced. We prayed over Chris, Dudley kept up a continuous prompting of beautiful hymns and songs that we sang together, Jan read passages from the Word about Heaven, and at different times, nurses would come in and pray with us, embrace me, and personally pray for me. God freed me of my fear of death so that I could be at Chris’ side, embrace him, and assure him as he entered Heaven. I sensed an incredible strength and peace.
I can testify that God has taken my BIGGEST fear, the ONE JOURNEY I had told God I was unwilling to take, and made beauty from the ashes. In addition, the hardest thing I have EVER had to tell my kids was also like being on holy ground. ALL of your prayers for us have been answered. We will have hard days, we will miss Chris deeply. He has been my best friend, my constant companion, and my PERFECT partner for more than half of my life. However, he has left a legacy in his kids and they were already laughing about stories about Dad as we sat and talked about him being in Heaven.
My prayer is that you will also see CHRIST high and lifted up, glorified, sovereign, and GOOD as you have walked this journey with us. Your prayers that Chris would be healed completely for wholeness and fullness of life have been answered. We got to witness it happen before our eyes as the striving and tremors ceased and he calmly rested.
Please pray that the seeds that Chris has planted throughout his life will bear much fruit. That God would be glorified among the NATIONS and through our family as we testify to His presence and goodness in the midst of our suffering. Pray that Chris’ life – and Homecoming – would bring revival in Lesotho, the mountain kingdom that he has grown to love so much. That they would know the ONE TRUE GOD, Sovereign over all spirits, the one who has known Chris from when he was knit together in his mother’s womb to this evening when he received his Heavenly reward.
Words cannot express my gratitude and the sense that God has already used Chris’ life to unite the Body of Christ for something powerful. We covet your prayers for this next season of our lives.
FINALLY at peace,
* God CONTINUES to use Chris’ life AND death to bear much fruit for the Kingdom of God. He went to Heaven on a Saturday night and by Sunday night, we had received word that over 75 people all over the world, in different churches where our testimony was shared, had received Christ. I am blessed to be told OFTEN how God CONTINUES to use Chris’ life and death for His glory.
* That next line, “that God would be glorified among the Nations and through our family as we testify in the midst of our suffering,” has been my constant prayer for these past two years. I have had countless opportunities to speak all over the place! Every time I have a chance to testify that He is who He says He is and He does what He says He’ll do, I realize HIS desire to reveal Himself to me and through me. What an awesome privilege this is!
* I am able to share this MOST exciting update because of news I received JUST Friday! There is now a GROWING core group of Christ followers in the village where we served! The last count I received was that there are at least 30 believers! In addition, the SHEPHERD TEAM is now in the mountains and carrying out the work that we prayed for while we were living in Molumong! Lastly, there is a precious and gifted couple in the town nearest our village and they’re training up leaders for the church through Theological Education by Extension (“TEE”)! God is MOVING in the mountains of Lesotho!!
* Finally, I have seen the Body of Christ in action like I’ve never seen it before. God is alive and at work, bringing us closer to Himself AND each other. I have a real sense that He’s not finished using all of this for His glory! Rift Valley Academy continues to be the place where He is using me now, but I have such a sense that He is working behind the scenes to prepare future seasons of ministries in new areas too! Stay tuned! We are planning a short Home Assignment to connect with family, friends, and supporters and to seek the Lord for future ministries July through December of this year.(This picture was taken with a team from REDpoint church in Durban, South Africa, outside of our home in Molumong, Lesotho. They continue to pray for us through THIS part of our journey even as they did in the village!)
Thank you for the part you all play in keeping us serving in Kenya AND thriving in the midst of this crazy journey. THIS year, I am going to be focusing on praying confidently, KNOWING, believing, and RECEIVING all that He has ALREADY accomplished in my life!
“And God is ABLE to make ALL GRACE abound to (me), so that IN ALL THINGS AT ALL TIMES, having ALL THAT (I) NEED, (I) will ABOUND IN EVERY GOOD WORK.” 2 Corinthians 9:8