Mar 7 2021  
"The LORD gives and the LORD takes away. 
Blessed be the name of the LORD."

While this saying from Job Chapter 1 is pure nonsense for those who do not know Jesus, and a challenging concept even for faithful God-followers who have walked through dark valleys of life, the saying is true. 
The death of a family member or friend is a hard thing anywhere. Here in Papua New Guinea, death creates many demands for surviving family members. They host a "haus krai" (calling hours) for several days, even weeks, where they are expected to provide shelter, hot drinks, and food for the mourners. Often suspicion arises among the mourners over the cause of the death, which may include suspicions of sorcery or unresolved conflicts within the family.  Place of burial can also cause long discussions to ensue. 
We praise God for a growing custom in our local community to make the "haus krai" and funeral services Christ-centered, where sharing good, honorable memories of the deceased person, worshiping God, and sharing God's Word are key components. 
The church rises to the occasion and pours out time, resources, and energy to provide food and finances, build "camp" fires for the mourners, set up temporary shelters, and minister to the mourners.
Recently one of our dear family friends, a beautiful Christian wife and mom of four, died in our community. At least one member of the extended family became a new believer in Jesus as a result of the God-focused mourning and celebration of this dear woman's life.  While grieving is a necessary and hard process, when family members hold Jesus' hand, good things are worked out in communities and hearts. 
We would love for you to pray for our friend Andrew and his children as they continue to mourn their wife and mom's passing into glory.  They are moving into a new season of life without this special lady and it's a hard transition.
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