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19 May, 2012

A Great Cloud of Witnesses . . . .

This week we were blessed to fellowship with a great cloud of witnesses who went before us in Africa. We had lunch together, remembering days past and funny stories. We shared testimonies of God’s faithfulness and answers to prayer. We had a lot of catching up to do! These dear people have been our mentors, our prayer warriors, our teachers, and our models. Our children know them as family, as do we. We love them and thank God for them in our lives. We are so grateful we had this time together.

Today we heard the news that our Kenyan father is now among the great cloud of witnesses worshiping at Jesus’ feet in heaven. Our hearts are grieved for his family and other loved ones in Kenya who are missing him. Pastor Phillip Bii taught us much, encouraged us repeatedly, chastised us occasionally, and challenged us to become more like Jesus. We love him. We already miss him.

Pastor Phillip was instrumental in beginning numerous Africa Gospel Church congregations in Kenya. He walked all over the countryside, sharing Jesus in word and deed. Phillip delighted in connecting people to Jesus. When we saw him in church, in town, and in his home he was usually surrounded by children, all eager for a chance to sit on his lap or snuggle up beside him. Phillip loved freely, knowing he was loved by God.

We have fun thinking of Phillip making his way through the great cloud of witnesses in heaven, smiling and greeting those he knows.  I like to picture him hugging tightly his dear friends, among whom are Dr. Ernie Steury and Mr. Joshua Rop.  No doubt they have been laughing together and talking non-stop. 

Perhaps they too, in a heavenly sort of way, have been remembering days past and retelling funny stories.  Likely they are sharing testimonies of God’s faithfulness and answers to prayer.  They have a lot of catching up to do! 

We love Phillip Arap Bii.  We thank God for bringing him into our lives, enriching us beyond measure.  We are so grateful for the time we had together. 

A great cloud of witnesses have gone on before us…into Africa and into Heaven.  We are so blessed.  We are so grateful.  


Anonymous said...

Heaven is becoming more and more like a family reunion, isn't it? What a blessing these dear ones are still to us.
Glad you are having safe and blessed times...now hurry home!

Love, Marcile (and Bob)

Nancy Almquist said...

What a gift to have so many people, a diverse population of people that have influence in ways they have never known. Philip is one of these. What a blessing!