Thursday, June 5, 2008

Another tragedy...

In Biwat a tragedy unfolded yesterday. Though there are varying stories of what happened, the long and short of it is, that a youth called Ishmael was killed (with a knife) in retaliation for him committing crimes. It appears that he was involved in violently holding some people up, but ended up on the other end of the violence, with his victims stabbing him and leaving him to die. He is the son of Augustina, a regular attendee at church and fellowship evenings. Although she is not as yet member, she has been very faithful in coming and participating of late. She also comes to the literacy class, and is a lovely, happy student.
What adds to this death is the great shame to family. Not only have they lost a son, this son has shamed them by his criminal activities. A lot of the people are very frank and say, “Don’t bother to cry too much for him - he got what he deserved. If you live like that you can expect to die like that. ” Now, there may be some truth in this but it is still very difficult for the family.
At the literacy class this morning (which of course did not have all the students because of the tragedy) we spent some time speaking and praying about the whole situation. We talked about the need for compassion to the family, the need for us to examine our own lives, that is, in terms of do we serve God in our lives? We talked about the need for grace, we talked about our need to strengthen our community, to support our youth, as parents to lead by example, etc. We prayed that the Lord would use this incident to His greater glory, that other youth involved in criminal activity may see this tragedy as a warning to turn from their lives of crime to a Life with Christ.
Please pray with us – that God will be with the shamed and grieving family. Pray that God will turn this event to His glory, that He may use it to strengthen His church, and also to show those who do not believe that He is the only way to happiness.


Anonymous said...

Once again we can see the effects of sin in the world.
May God give you all the strength you need to deal with these situations. May He also surround Augustina and her family with His care and love, and use this situation for the spreading of His Words of grace and salvation.
Love, denise

Anonymous said...

Wishing you all God's strength in this, and may He continue to work in the hearts of those you work with.
Remembering you in our prayers.
Sarah Huizinga

Anonymous said...

Hi Andrew, Nat & girls,
I read your blog all the time but forget to comment! Sorry!
Such a mixture of emotions, your last 2 blog entries. One was very joyful and it must have been such an experience to be a part of! But the other .... very sad! May God give you all what you need as you face many ups and downs as you spread His word. May God work in the hearts of those that you have contact with so that they can see that a life by God's Word is the only beautiful way to live.
Well, take care!
Luv Matt, Sandra & kids