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Hope For Tomorrow

Today was a bittersweet day in our community. After a long, painful battle with cancer our sister Ruth has gone home to be with Jesus. She was a loved member of this community that will not soon be forgotten.

We received a message this morning that she had passed last night. Her friends gathered around her and prayed over her as she was ushered into the Lord's presence.

This afternoon we made the mile long hike in 90 degree heat to her homestead to give our condolences and pray with the family.

As we arrived at her homestead we were met by a 4 year old boy wearing no shoes and playing with a broken toy truck. He said hello Mom Jen and gave me a hug. His mother was inside grieving the loss of her mother.

As we stepped inside the mud and stick hut and sat on grass mats, the flies were thick and body odor and alcohol permeated the air. Pushing the distractions aside we focused on how we could comfort this family.

Ruth's friends shared sweet memories of her and told about her brave battle with cancer. She never wavered in her faith in God. She knew it would one day be over and she would meet Him in heaven and all her pain would be over. We spoke of God's promises and sang songs about His faithfulness. We prayed for peace and comfort for this family. You see, this family isn't new to loss. Earlier this year they lost their brother (Ruth's son) at the age of 40 to a sudden heart attack and following that one of their homes burned to the ground because a candle fell over. They are grieving so many things and searching for answers.

As we left the hut everyone left money on a plate to help the family pay for her funeral. They are never prepared for these expenses because they are living hand to mouth everyday.

We will never have the answers to why bad things happen, especially to one family in such a short time. All we can do is show love, compassion, and meet the needs that God prompts us to meet and be the hands and feet of Jesus.

Throughout Ruth's battle we just showed up. We brought toiletries, medicine, hospice workers, prayer, and just held her hand. Sometimes that's all you can do. Be present.

We will never forget Ruth and what she meant to this community. May her journey be a testimony of a hope greater than our present circumstances. Thank you Lord for letting us walk beside her. Please bring comfort to her family and a hope they've never known.

Family Time in USA

Probably most of you didn't know we visited the US over Christmas time. It was a time for us to rest and reflect on the past year in a quiet place.

Justin's hope was to see his uncle Cliff. Cliff had been battling stage 4 kidney cancer. He had been a great warrior going through clinical trials in Dallas in hopes that in the future a cure would be found. When he began the trials they were hoping for at least two more years of life but this trial gave him 5. How awesome to hear that advancements are being made everyday to destroy this disease.

Unfortunately Uncle Cliff passed away before Justin could see him one last time. We were able to change our tickets to arrive in time for his memorial service which meant alot to Justin and his family.

Justin's whole life was filled with many great memories and family time with Cliff. Around the age 9 while swimming in a river at a family reunion, Justin became tired in the swift water and began to drown. The water was over taking him and along came a hand to raise him out of the water. It was Cliff. He laughed a nervous laugh, threw him on the bank, and went on about swimming with everyone else.

During these last few years of his trials, whatever they asked of Cliff, he did it. If it was to experiment with this or that he tried it. In this past year he had just learned that the drug trials would now be approved by FDA and given to those who faced this terrible disease. Just as he was a hero to Justin when he was drowning, he continues to be a hero to many who are battling this disease.

No matter where you live there are people around you facing this awful disease. Some battles are won on this earth and some are not. We do our best to provide comfort when we see others hurting. We can't heal them but we can stand with them when they face these battles. God is our provider, the one who deserves our praise, and to Him we give all glory! Amen.

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Cliff and Justin on the slopes of Keystone, CO.

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