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Phil and Linda Byler, missionaries in Sudan
September 9, 2014 2:40 am
Published in: Uncategorized

Yesterday we visited a village church outside Kampala. It’s very humble beginnings reminded me of the birthplace of our faith, a stable. As we arrived the pastor mentioned that they had buried an infant child of one of their members just two days prior. We murmured our regrets.

The service commenced. Prolonged opening intersession reverberated through the neighborhood while the members gradually assembled. Vibrant worship followed. One choir member, Alice, was particularly expressive of joy and radiated a love for Jesus. I, Phil led the small congregation in a Discovery Bible Study with lots of audience participation. Peter was my capable and enthusiastic translator. A pretty little girl in a spotless white ‘wedding’ dress wandered up to hold her daddy Peter’s hand from time to time.

Then it was testimony time. Both Alice and Peter quickly came forward and each shared a simple testimony of faith in God’s provision of comfort and assurance through the death of their third child and only son this week. They spoke with calm confidence of God’s goodness and the transfer of their little boy’s place from here to heaven.

I was dumbstruck. How could someone in acute grief participate so joyfully in leading a worship service? The choir was called forward again during which time the attached photo of Alice, Peter and their youngest daughter was taken. I watched carefully to detect any evidence of a fake glossing over their grief. Only praise, joy, and love exuded. It appeared totally genuine. I was in awe of a simple profound faith that could transcend such a loss and give such victory. How much is cultural expression? Even then who else but Jesus could give such victory?