Last week, Edmund, one of our church leaders, passed away. The physical battle at the end of his life was hard as his body gave into the cancer. However, the spiritual battle that followed for his wife Imelda and his daughter Estella (the only believers in his family) has been fierce. All the other family members (unbelievers) insisted upon a traditional funeral for Edmund. There was little Imelda could do as she was overwhelmingly outnumbered.
Yesterday, the day arrived for Edmund’s funeral. Obviously, Imelda, Estella, and all the believers were disappointed in the way the funeral was to take place. The extended family did as they wanted. Then Edmund’s body was taken to the cemetery where things were still done according to tradition.
I and most of the believers watched from a distance. As the casket was being closed and about to be placed into the grave, I saw Imelda say something to Estella. Estella then immediately came out of the cemetery and walked right up to me. She expressed that Imelda wanted me to come in. I did so, followed by several of the believers. At that moment, Imelda did something I have never seen before in this culture. She stopped the burial. And then she just looked at me. I took just a few minutes to share the truth that Edmund’s soul is already in heaven because of his faith in Jesus. Then another believer read a passage from the Bible and prayed. It doesn’t really sound like much as I type these words. However, in the end, by her actions, Imelda didn’t allow tradition to have the last word. She honored her husband’s faith and the Lord, and Truth had that last word.
With Edmund’s burial, it would be nice to say the battle is over for the believers in this village, and especially for Imelda and Estella. But we are sure more heartaches and attacks will come. Please pray for us, the believers, and especially for Imelda and Estella. Please pray that, through her courageous stand and testimony, others will come to know Jesus as their Savior. Thank you very much.