Tuesday, July 5, 2011
This morning we woke up to some tragic news.
Last night I heard George get up and go out in the middle of the night and not return till 2 am in the morning. I didn’t think much of it because being a shepherd in Nakuru Kenya means being on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week just like it does in the Village.
George came in our room and told us that Mary’s (the one we call the priestess) husband Syrus was killed last night in a terrible hit and run traffic accident. It happened as he was riding his motorcycle home from work late last night. He was hit and run over by a semi tractor trailer. The details are sketchy but it seems the driver of the semi after running over Syrus kept on going. Sirus was pronounced dead on the scene of the accident.
Syrus was a good man. He was a good father, provider and a good brother. He is survived by an incredible wife and some wonderful children and grandchildren. Most of the readers of this blog know who Mary the Priestess is and how she has been an inspiration to all of us here and in the Village since we met 4 years ago.
Syrus’s daughter Janet is one of the sweetest girls in the Kingdom Hikers. She is a 16 year old that can really dance and sing.
When we went to see them today I hugged her and she just went limp and sobbed. It helped me under stand a little more why we're here.
Just the day before she left me a note expressing her gratitude for our coming to Kenya and loving them. She is such a sweet girl. Here is the note…
Going to Mary house this afternoon for the “time of grieving” was a bitter sweet experience. The last time we were there was only 8 months ago and she was only half done with her house. We took tea in the unfinished house. She said the next time we drank tea together it would be in the finished house. Yet neither of us could have imagined under what circumstances we would drink that tea.
This afternoon we drove up to the cutest little house with a functioning mini farm. The crops were full, the cow and chickens were in their pens and almost every inch of the land was being put to use. There was even a pit dug that Syrus was planning to make into a Tilapia pond.
When we entered the beautiful little home there was family and friends smiling and praying with Mary. Mary greeted us as we walked in and put on that great smile of hers while hugging us and welcoming us into her home.
Shortly after we arrived a few Kenyans drove up in a large white expensive car with a white man who spoke fluent Swahili. He was the head man of a large ministry and who Syrus had worked for. He came in, introduced himself, his associates and his body guard. He then began to preach to Mary about sin and “being ready ourselves” for death. Mary’s face indicated she was not enjoying the sermon. He said all the right things you’re supposed to say and yet it felt extremely impersonal.
It was awkward to say the least and I am trying to be discreet. When he was done I felt, at the risk of being rude, that I needed to state that Mary’s testimony was incredible and that we were happy to be considered by her as family. He thanked me and proceeded to leave.
After he left we sat for a time while George talked to Mary about the funeral and how we could help. I got up and went outside and met Syrus’s son Tabu. We talked while he played with his little son. Then he took me over to the little pit that was being dug for the fish and told me it was his father’s wish to do the pond so he would finish it himself.
All in all it was a sweet time with people in whom we have come to love and respect. In our short visit we were allowed to share in both their grief and praise. Please keep Mary’s family in your prayers and hearts. The next week will be difficult for them. Yet we are tonight praising our great God for taking the sting out of this death and giving us the abiding hope of seeing Syrus again.
We have seen in Mary’s face the same unbelievable grace that we read in every email from our beloved Shammah at home. He said He would never be far when we needed Him. Our God…is God.