Here are portions of an update I sent to our co-workers Jonathan and Susan Kopf
Hey Jonny and Sue,
Thank you so much for taking the time to write. I know you are crazy busy – but it was really nice to read the letter to Yanis and Unai. They seem to be taking it as well as could be expected. Yesterday morning, we buried Jon about mid-morning. At different times through the night and day different ones would read scripture or sing songs, then they would wail some more,,, then others would read.
At one point Mikol read Acts 1:1-11 about the Holy Spirit coming and he talked about how the Holy Spirit lived with us now to give us strength. We hadn’t planned it – but I read from Rom 8:26-30 about the HS groaning and praying for us even when we don’t know what to pray. And that God had plan for this – and I had no idea what it was or when if ever we would see the fruit from this – but I knew God was good and did not do anything bad. I told them I did not have a bunch of words to share because only God’s Word would give them strength or comfort at this time. The only word I had was for Yanis and Unai – I told them that God had made them one, and they needed to mourn together and be together during this time. I encouraged Yanis that Unai would need him to minister to her. She would need her physical needs met with getting sweet potatoes and fire wood – but she would also need her spiritual needs met through hearing God’s Word.
Some other passages that I read and either translated on the fly – or Eyaka would turn were Ps. 139:1-18, I Thess 4:13-end, The 2Sam 12 story, 1 Korin 15:51, Deuteronomy 32:3,4. Others read from Jon 14, Rom 8, Jon 10,
Overall – everyone seems to be convinced that Jon is in Heaven after hearing The 2Sam Story, Mark 10:13-14, Ps 139 etc. We talked about Jon’s Spirit – leaving immediately and Was chimed in and said – yeah, my parents told me the spirits wandered around and went to that waterfall over there (the one we can see from our house) or that they went to Urap and Yano.Then he laughed and said, “it was all lies.” Now if we believe that Jesus paid for our sins we know that our spirits go to God’s ground and if not we go to the fire. I asked them who would drink the water if we put a bottle on the grave (Another church’s tradition), the said, “not Jon” – I asked who will eat the buai or smoke the tobacco? And they replied, “not Jon – his spirit is gone. He is not here any longer” – so it was really good to hear. Also – I asked several folks if they thought Yanis would be okay – they said, “Yes – he is holding on to God’s Word, is not chanting about witches and payback killings. He is just crying and talking about how much he had planned to do with Jon.”
We had a big feast – no meat – but veggies etc. Angie and I cooked a bale of rice (we “just happened” to bring in an extra) – cooked it with the rest of the frozen chicken we brought in with us. The girls suggested we throw it in the pot so we did.
In the evening – everyone was eating and laughing and in pretty good spirits. Mikol read from God’s Word – John 10 – about us being God’s sheep and He was the Good Shepherd — When darkness came last night – there was about an hour more of wailing – but I noticed Yanis and Unai slip off together and head to their house before anyone else left. I think they are exhausted from 36 hours of no sleep – just wailing. Both of their voices are completely gone.
Pray for them – there were times at 3 or 4 in the morning that I woke up and heard her crying. There will be lots of days of sadness in the future. Her sisters did make it in from Fiyawana – so that will help – but they will need lots of prayers in the coming days.
Pray for Angie and me to have wisdom as we seek to be a blessing and encouragement. The people want us to fire up Ephesians teaching again this evening – if that happens, we will be teaching Ephesians 4:7 & 11-16.
Resting in Him – K&A Deuteronomy 32:3,4