Paul is at the funeral of a fourteen year old boy today. A student who was about to enter Grade 8 next week at ANIJA. The son of Ark house parents. A friend of many. We received a distraught call from his dad as we were getting ready to head to church last night. We couldn't believe it.
Last week-end I followed on Facebook as fellow missionaries posted pictures of a close family friend, a twenty-year-old college student who had drowned in Lake Michigan. They attended her funeral on the week-end.
A couple of days ago I heard about a missionary in Santo Domingo who drowned trying to save some teenagers. I didn't know him but can't imagine being in the place of his wife or children.
Three people in a week. Young. Healthy. Full of life. One of our own students. It has been a long time since I have written a blog post. I certainly didn't plan on writing about death. But death is a reality that each of us must face. We hope it will come later rather than sooner but we just never know. We have to be ready for it at any moment. Are we?
So many children in our school tell us that they can get to heaven if they are good enough. But God's standard is perfect and we all fall short. We all need to rely on Jesus Christ who lived a perfect life and died in our place to forgive our sins. Through Him, and Him alone, we can have eternal life. He gives hope. He brings assurance that we will see loved ones again. He helps us through tragedies and difficulties in this life even when we don't understand them. He is faithful. And He is good. Through Him I can say with the apostle Paul, "for me to live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Philippians 1:21). I hope you can too.