In everything there is a season: a time to laugh and a time to weep. Now is a time to weep, for our brother and sister are weeping as they mourn the sudden loss of their only son.
Our good friend Bonface came to bless our family for over two months as we shared our Kentucky home and community with him. He joined us for morning devotions in which we read Scriptures, pray, and sing together as a family. He worked at our friend’s organic farm together with our children. He taught computer skills to another friend’s daughter. He went to share God’s Word at a “half-way house” for men newly out of prison. He went with us on our family vacation to Michigan. Whever he went, he was eager to learn from every new experiance. And wherever he was invited, he shared about his calling to serve the poor in his community of Rongo, Kenya.
Three days ago, my husband had some errands to attend to in town and he asked Bonface and our son Jonathan to load up a trailer with small pieces of firewood to be transferred to our woodshed. It was a bright, sunny morning, and everything seemed quite normal. When they finished loading up the trailer, Bonface picked a pail of cherry tomatoes he noticed in our jungle of a garden. Just as he was joining us for lunch, the phone rang, and he went outside to talk to his mother. At this time, the world changed for all of us. When he came in he told us that his son had died. Suddenly we realized that his Joseph was no longer with us here on earth, but had passed on into God’s hands. Now is a time to weep, for our Kenyan family is weeping. Life is different now without little Joseph gracing our lives.
I recall our last visit at Bonface and Grace’s home. I remember that Joseph was a quiet child, and he didn’t draw attention to himself. He contentedly sat on his father’s lap while his father visited with us. He quietly played with the other children. He had a quiet smile which warmed my heart, and I thank God that I had the privilege to know little Joseph for that short stretch of our journey to our true homeland.
Joseph has preceded us to our final destination. It seems backward to have a little child finish his course before us adults. We know this happens, but when it happens to family, it still comes as a shock. It is hard to quiet our troubled minds and sorrowful hearts. As I recall Joseph’s quiet, trusting ways, I pray that God’s Holy Spirit will bring peace and quiet to our beloved family in Kenya. Our brother, our son, our sister, our daughter, they are grieving, and we grieve this loss with them. Every death of a loved one helps us to seek those things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Every death helps us to set our minds on the things above, not on the things on the earth. And when Christ, who is our life, appears, little Joseph will also appear with Him in glory.
Please send up a prayer for courage and consolation on behalf of Bonface, his wife Grace, their 13 year old daughter Vencer, and little 1 year old Julie Ann. – They need us to weep with them.
May the peace of Christ be with you,
Brother Nathan and Mama Anna
The best seat in the house!
Busy in his own "kitchen"
Sharing a happy moment
Together in joy, together in sorrow