Joy in the Midst of Mourning

Jeremy was born and reared in our host village but he worked for an airline company in another province, married a girl from there, they adopted some children and had some sons of their own. We met him when he came home for holidays and vacations but never knew him well. But then he started having problems with his kidney and sent his wife and kids home to his village with promises to follow them soon, which he did–not only to be with them but to seek medical help.

He came to see us to ask me if I would teach him through course one, containing lessons to teach the basic truths about God’s character, creation, the fall of man, the payment for sin and God’s promise to send a redeemer. You see, his wife and children had attended a class in the village and were wonderfully saved. They hadn’t really heard God’s Word much and so they drank in the life-changing message. Their lives had been transformed and became a light in the community. His wife had told Jeremy about God’s grace and His provision for sinners through the work of Christ alone and their plans to be baptized.

Jeremy’s goal was to get through the course and be baptized with his wife and children. He thought it was a catechism class but little did he know how the power of God’s word would rock his world. It was a privilege to teach him through the lessons and to see the Holy Spirit working in him to bring him to Christ and freedom from the bondage of sin, Satan and the fear of death. His spirit was made alive and people in the community saw a new man. I said to him one day that he came home to seek help for his physical problem, but God brought him here for a much bigger problem.

He did seek medical help and was advised to go to the capital city and see doctors there, which he did. They ended up removing the bad kidney and he returned home. We were all happy to see him again, but we could see he was not healthy yet. He ended in and out of our local hospital, and died there the morning after Christmas.

The family is scattered in different parts of the country and they are trying to make funeral arrangements for Jeremy. Our hearts mourn for his family but at the same time we have joy knowing he is safe in his eternal home. Our veranda has become a place where many have been taught the Word of God and have been transformed by the power of God, who is still in the business of saving souls.

Please pray for his family and for their time of mourning.

Jim & Kathy Tanner