Posts Tagged With: eternity

Part 2. Mysteries, Emotional Rollercoasters and Flickers of Hope

(Please note there are pictures of deceased people here)

I lost a friend. She was 27 years old. She passed away on the 3rd of July 2014. I wanted to write earlier, but couldn’t. It makes me so sad. My malpa wiru (good friend).

We had some laughs, her and I. Most at my expense. šŸ™‚

I met her just after we moved to Alice Springs. She had come in to Alice as she was quite sick and was having some tests done. She was married and had a small beautiful boy. They all turned up at church one day after getting on one of our church busses. She gave her life to Jesus and became a part of God’s family. She lived a long way away, but I saw her again and again over the next couple of years when she would come in from community mostly to visit the hospital. She would always be wearing a bandanna and had the most beautiful smile. Each time she came in I would get to know her a little better, but it wasn’t until about 4 months ago when she came in for her second last trip here that I got to know her a lot better. We would talk of her home, of her family and of her love for Jesus. She wanted to share her story, of how God had changed her life. I did not know at that time of how sick she really was or how much her life hadĀ changed. I thought that she had caught pneumonia and had just taken a while to recoup. I prayed with her often, and even shared her story at her request to a church we spoke at in Adelaide. She was really standing for her faith and it appeared she was getting physically stronger every day. She missed her family terribly and couldn’t wait to be discharged from hospital so she could return home.

She went home, but it was a short lived visit. Within a couple of weeks she was back, with what was to be her last time. This time, the doctors said that this was it. They called the family in. Her mum stayed with her. She had visits from many friends and family. I would go in, often with another friend from church and we would sing together and pray and read the Bible. It was good practice for me to read from her PitjantjatjaraĀ Bible. She would help me read the words, until she got too tired and breathless and then she would just listen.

She urged me to share her story. She wanted people to know that Jesus was the true way. That He was real and how much her life had changed. One day when I was visiting, a lady was there that had known her for a long time. She was a remote nurse and had a lot to do with my friend’s care. I prayed with my friend as I did every time I visited and when we finished the nurse had tears in her eyes. She asked me if I could see her outside for a moment. When out there, she shared how my friend used to be very angry and volatile and an extremely difficult patient, but approximately 2 years ago, she began to see a change in her. Until now where she had seen a major change in her temperament and the way she dealt with people. She said she was certain it was due to my friend becoming a Christian. How wonderful it was to hear the testimony from this lady. She said she had first thought it was because she was being the best nurse, but she quickly realised that this was a profound change. She was not the only one to tell me this.

I had a social worker pull me aside and tell me the same thing a few days later. They could not attribute it to anything else. When I talked to her later about it and she went all shy with me and asked how I found out, I explained it was because she was now shining Jesus so much, that it had changed her so much that even people who didn’t believe in Him could see the difference in her and had to declare it as nothing short of a miracle (or at least something they couldn’t deny).

We were praying for a miracle, but I know she was ready to go home to heaven. She liked me to read the verse about there being (pika wiya) no more pain, no more tears. She made me promise I would tell others of her hope in Jesus, of the life to come if we believe in Him, of how she changed. I promised I would. She wanted to write her story, but sadly she never got to finish. She began, but got too weak.

Friends are hard to come by in this place, but she became my friend. We were from different worlds in some ways and yet we understood one another. The day she said ‘I used to say you were my friend, but now I call you my sister’ I will treasure that for the rest of my life. I pray for her family. In particular her husband and young son. They are wonderful people andĀ areĀ grieving so much.

I did not get to attend her funeral as I would have liked, my son was in hospital and I was with him. I have been holding back the grief of her loss until now as I would find it hard to cope with that and with all that was happening with my son. But it is time now. Time to share what she asked me to. Time to cry. Time to say goodbye.

She was a strong lady in spirit and her body just couldn’t keep up. I don’t understand why God chooses to heal some people and not others. I don’t know why she couldn’t stay here on this earth, but I do know I will see her again. She is with her little girl who she lost when the girl was 1 year old. She missed her terribly. I know she is finally in no pain and having no more suffering. I know she would be singing the song she was given just before she passed away and her smile would be so big as she is in the arms of her saviour. I miss her. As I do the many friends we have lost since arriving here.

The verse she had displayed in her hospital room was fitting for her then and for us now: ‘Be strong and courageous, for I am with you’.

One of the things she had written in her journal

One of the things she had written in her journal

Bronnie, me and our friend

Bronnie, me and our friend

My friend and I

Categories: My journey, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Thank you

This is just a quick post to say THANK YOU to all who pray for our family, who have written or called ‘just because’, and to the family who have given to us financially even when it is not flowing in abundance for you…Bless you in your sacrifice. I am grateful and my words cannot express how much I appreciate your generosity. I will keep you anonymous only because I know that is the way you would have it… but it does mention in the Bible that you will be rewarded in eternity for the generosity you have bestowed in this life.

So, thanks.

It is wonderful to be a part of the body of Christ, for we know we are never alone.

Love and God’s blessings to all of you and your families.

Categories: My journey | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tribute to Marlene

Marlene and her niece Marlene

Marlene and her niece Marlene

Marlene ready for her birthday trip to the Pizza house

Marlene ready for her birthday trip to the Pizza house

A few weeks back a lady shared with me a vision she had. I knew then, that her time was short here on earth, but that she was going to a far better place… A few of you might have read a part of this on Facebook, but let me recap:

Was just talking with a lady this evening who was on her death bed and she said she saw a large angel standing in the doorway and she was picked up by a man she recognised as Jesus. She was taken during this vision, to ICU where she saw her body lying on the bed. All around her were people singing praises. Next thing she knew she was back in her body and looking up at the doctor and nurse and said she wanted to go back to her home. She said ‘you know my heart’s no good, my kidney they no good either, and my leg and my arm, but one day it’ll be alright. I love Him, that Jesus and he love me proper good one’. I don’t think it’s long til she goes for good to see her Friend Jesus and be reunited with loved ones, I see no more fear in her… though, she could suprise us and live another 10 years… just nice Jesus gave her that glimpse of no more pain, and no more sorrow.

On the 25th December, Christmas Day, she had her last day on this earth. She had a lovely day. She was surrounded by family, her absolute delight. She had children around her (she called the sound of children ‘music’:-) ) then in the afternoon she asked to be wheeled down into the Todd River bed (dry of course) and she had a massive heart attack and passed away.

I had seen her two days before, and she was the happiest and most peaceful I had seen her in a while. She was busy practising a song to sing at church. Well she can sing it with an awful big choir now!

Marlene made a huge impact on our family’s life. She was the one that gave my youngest boy the name Maku which means white edible grub(witchetty grub)- because of his pale skin. She loved him and he adored her. He would pray for her every night “please heal Marlene’s leg”. One day when she was in hospital our second boy went in to visit her and taught her how to play the card game ‘fish’, she loved it. I think she wouldn’t have cared what he taught her, just that he was showing her special attention and laughing with her.

We took her out on her birthday and went to a restaurant and had pizza. She was so delighted. She thought everyone had forgotten her birthday.

Another family and ours went to the hostel where she spent her last days and sung Christmas Carols with her and her mother. I felt like it was one of the most important “concerts” we have ever been a part of, even if it was our smallest audience. I felt the presence of God around and renewed my sense, that this is what it’s all about- the ones, not the crowds.

She always said that my mum and I were like beautiful roses, always make her heart feel joy.

She was firey as anything and sometimes when I would come to visit it would take a while for her to calm down, but as I listened she would quieten, and then when she was finished she would ask me to put some worship music on for her. A highlight for her was when some of the Stirling team came up to meet her and sung acapella for her when she was in hospital, she sung in return to them in language.

I loved Marlene. She was a treasured friend, and she called us her family. “You mob are my family now”. I will miss her greatly, but as Zion said when we told him, “well now she will have both her legs and she will be able to run”!

Marlene loved Jesus. She had pictures up of Him all over her place, and now she gets to be with Him, all day, everyday.

Marlene knew at least five languages, had spent some of her life in Haas Bluff, Ntaria, Papunya and Alice Springs as well as other places. She had many brothers and sisters but a few of them she hasn’t seen since they were taken away when she was young she’d say “you know, they were the light skin ones hey”. Her first husband passed away in Hermansburg and then she lived in Papunya. She loved shopping and was hoping we were going to take a trip to Adelaide to shop šŸ™‚ my sort of lady! She loved to be outside, and loved music. She would sing up the front at church sometimes.

Tonight was her memorial service. We sung At Home with Thee in Pitjantjara and Ngaanytjara. It was so moving.

She will be missed. Please pray for her niece who was her carer as she is taking it quite hard. She has cared for her for a long time, was brought up by her and is her namesake.

Categories: My journey, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

When things don’t go to plan

One of my favourite books to read is about a couple who are working in Mozambique. Heidi and Rolland Baker. They are real. They speak of the awesome miracles, the move of God, the triumphs, but they also speak of the times when God doesn’t heal, when devastation comes and how God is still in their midst. Although we are yetĀ to see the magnitude of the move of God that they are seeing (I believe we will), I am reminded as Heidi says, ‘it is about the one who is before you right now.’ One person at a time. Show that one person the love of Jesus. Listen to that one person’s story. Pray for/with that one person. Smile or cry with that one person.

Today as Ben and I visited the hospital we encountered incredible grief and people’s fear and disappointments.Ā  One lady was praying for a miracle that her foot be healed, we had just seen her husband come in to ICU with little to no chance of surviving (he is only in his late 30s maybe early 40s) he had suffered multiple heart attacks, and all his organs were shutting down. But God moved and he is a walking talking miracle! He has gone back home now! And his wife, seeing the miracle of his life restored, believed she too could be healed, and we believed with her, but today the day of the operation came and there was no improvement, so she lost her foot. She is trying to remain positive. We prayed that God’s peace would surround her, and I could feel Him in her room.

Another lady is feeling so alone, and should have been discharged from hospital but they have nowhere for her to go. She has only one leg and isĀ a dialysis patient so it is too hard for her to go home to community. She feels so alone and unwanted. She feels she is not an old lady (and she’s not, she is barely 50), but they want her to go to the old folks home. That scares her. We prayed God’s peace for her and a way through.

One other woman I visited today is the same age as me. She has been crippled by a car accident. She is struggling with many things. She has seen heaven. And tears come to her eyes as she explains Jesus. But reality is tough for her. Life isn’t fair and it’s definitely not easy. Her relationships are hard and she too is so lonely.

We had visited a little boy who is 2 and is unwanted by the mother because she wanted a girl. He just wants/ needs to be loved. What will become of him? In this country we can’t just take them home and provide for them. There is a ‘system’ that little boy will have to go through.

I would love to say that every person we are praying for is being healed, and yes we are seeing the ‘miracles beginning to flow’, however we are very much still in a fallen world, a world groaningĀ for its Maker. ThingsĀ don’t go always according to our plan, or the way we think would be right… but we are seeing and feeling God in the midst of us. And we are seeingĀ our Lord JesusĀ opening people’s eyes and ears to Him. We have the privilege of not justĀ walking their victories with them, but also walking with them in the Valley of the Shadow…Ā These times make us remember to keep it all in perspective-Ā keep our eyes on the eternal- that is the true andĀ only lastingĀ plan.

Categories: My journey, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

On the road again

So much has happened since my last post, but I have only half written drafts as it has been so busy and emotional. But thought it would be good to share what Ben and I have been up to in the last couple of days.

I knew that I would go back to Indulkana, but did not expect it to be this soon. Our friend, who travelled down with me the first time (Mrs Goodwin) passed away. I think she knew that her time was short when we went down last time. She was so keen to get home. Before she passed away, I had some special moments with her which I will be forever thankful for and got to meet some more of her family.

image

Ronald, Wapawapa, Nollie and Ben

On Tuesday morning we travelled down with a bus full. We had Ben Zion and me up front, and in the back was Kinyon, Rupert, Annie-Margaret, Yilpi, Maringka, Ronald andĀ Helen. We had a lovely trip down. We sung and chatted and they laughed at Zion who had questions about everything. We saw camels and eagles and dingoes and an emu.Ā Thankfully an uneventful trip. We reached the turn-off for Indulkana and I don’t remember the road being that bumpy last time I went. Gotta love the corrugated feeling on the roadĀ :-).

When we arrived we first went to the ‘sorry camp’. There were a group of tents set up where the family had been staying and we were to go there and shake hands and sitĀ with the people as they wept. Zion just asked why they were crying and then sat in the dirt nearby and made a ‘chocolate cake’ out of the dirt. He seemed very much at home. Ben and I weren’t sure how long we would be down at the camp for, but no sooner were Ben and I just getting comfortable than they were all getting back in the bus and telling us it was time to get ready for the memorial service.

Ben had never ran a funeral before, and the language barrier was a bit daunting, but he seemed to take it in his stride.

The memorial service was lovely.

Getting ready for the funeral

They basically sing some songs, share memories of Mrs Goodwin, light candles and then give new blankets to the family (Mrs Martin told me that this was to symbol a fresh start). Then Ben was asked to bring a short word of encouragement from the Lord. All this time, we sat around campfires and the children played and enjoyed touching Zion’s face, I think because of how white he was, though I’m not sure. He fell asleep in my arms close to the finish.

The next morning, possibly the most amusing thing was seeing some wild pigs just walking through the town.

Dinner Anyone?

One of them were huge and had knocked over a bin and was looking for food. People were very responsive to us and were shaking our hands and saying that we had made them glad with Ben’s message the night before. The funeral was set to start at 10am, but it wasn’t until 11.30am that the car arrived with the casket, so there was a lot of hymns sung and a few people even took the time to preach, reminded me of the old open air meetings we used to be a part of. When the casket was brought out, it was laid on a table and everyone gathered around and placed a flower on top and touched the casket and wept as Ben prayed and read the Bible to them. Faxes were read out of those that couldn’t make it, and then we all headed down to the graveside where they throw dirtĀ in to the graveĀ and everyone takes turn to shake the families hands.

Although there was obviously a lot of grief at the loss of our friend Mrs Goodwin, there was a beautiful peace that was there as the people seemed very assured that her final resting place was with their loving Father in heaven. The air was full of hope.

We felt so privileged to have been welcomed into this wonderful community, to share with them a very intimate experience. The views are beautiful there, but the people are what captures my attention. I look forward to seeing them again…

Categories: My journey, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

If you die tonight… what would become of the leftovers?

When we die, unless we have some Lazarus experience it’s what I would call final. Complete. No turning back.

What then becomes of our leftovers? In this instance of course I am not primarily talking of food (though I suppose if you died in the middle of a meal then I could be talking literally šŸ™‚ ). I am talking about one, the things we have accumaulated, two, the activities we have engaged in and three, the relationships we have fostered (or not). Left-overs are the part of the meal that is left when we have finished up the original meal. Other people will be the ones to partake or throw out our leftovers and once we have had the meal (this life) we cannot decide what becomes of leftovers.

Are the things I am spending my time, money and emotions on worth passing on to someone else to continue to partake of? Or are they destined for the rubbish, the smell pungent as milk left out in a sundrenched car or worse- off fish. Have I left the feeling of others wanting more and wanting to duplicate what has been my meal?

I heard that a beautiful old man spent his time asking: If you were to die tonight, do you know where you would spend eternity? But I don’t think that is the end of the questions. If you have chosen to make Jesus Christ your God and know that heaven with Him awaits you, then I think that there are further questions we must begin to ask ourselves.

Does my life reflect the One I follow? Will my lifestyle and the choices I make cause someone to seek out my lifestyle?Ā  or be non-plussed? or even repelled by it? I read in the Bible today in the book of James that it says that “anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes and enemy of God”, it says that when we ask God for things we do not recieve them because we ask with wrong motives, so that we can spend our money on sinful pleasures.This passage is not talking about locking ourselves up in our room and never interacting with other people. It is talking about when we live for our pleasures, when we seek out things with selfish ambition. When we fill our lives with lust, drunkeness, witchcraft (no matter how “tame”), jealousy, hatred then we become an enemy of God. Our leftovers are not one that will leave a legacy for our children and definitely not draw people to know our Christ.

In all honesty, how do I stand out from those that have no belief in our Jesus? Am I quick to forgive because I have been forgiven much? Do I choose to stay away from things because it might cause someone else to stumble? Do I choose to fill my mind with things that areĀ pure, noble, trustworthy or just what will give a laugh, what will get me ” popular”? HaveĀ  I seared my conscience that I can’t hear the Holy Spirit when He says, walk this way, don’t watch that, DO talk to that person etc… Am I more concerned about ME and the enjoyment I can have on this earth that I have forgotten that it carries no weight for my future destination not to mention future generations. Have I been more consumed with accumulating wealth on this earth for me that I have forgotten my hungry brothers and sisters?

I ate some really nice leftovers today. Chicken stirfry from last nights meal. Sometimes I think food tastes better as left overs…. That is the kind of taste I want to leave in peoples mouths when I pass from this life to my destiny. I want people left wanting more, copying and bettering what I had done. Remembered for my love and passion for God, his people and life. Remembered for the sweet aroma that comes from being with someone who has allowed themselves to be purified in the fire. To be laid on the operating table and healed.

And so my question to you today: If you were to die tonight…what would become of your leftovers?

Categories: My journey | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.