Rebecca is in heaven

Rebecca was my translator the first time we ventured into the streets of Tamale. We walked together, found people who seemed hungry for conversation, sat down, and shared the gospel together. “I want to go to school,” she told me. “I want to learn how to do batik. But it costs so much money.” We talked about her dreams, her life, her family. We walked through a dump. I love that she pinched her nose, which gave me permission to do the same.

She laughed. She worshiped. She shared Jesus.

Folks had given Aidan money to bless people he met in Ghana. I told Aidan about Rebecca and her desire to go to school. “Let’s give her some money,” he said. He approached Rebecca’s pastor and handed him some money. “For Rebecca’s schooling,” he told him.

She shyly thanked Aidan later. And she smiled at the prospect of a new life.

But today I found out she’s gone to heaven, a victim of malaria. I am numb hearing it, shocked really. How can someone so alive be dead? She was in her twenties. And now she’s with Jesus.

I told Aidan, and his eyes got wet. Mine are now. Dear, dear Rebecca. Taken (stolen) by a preventable disease.

Her death, so stark, reminds me of the importance of living my life for the sake of Jesus’ kingdom. To love Him always. To be about His business. To find Him on the face of the poor.

Oh dear Jesus, Rebecca is with you now. She is dancing for You. She is singing to You. And the fruits of her life, of how she shared you, are her rewards now. She’s casting her crown at Your scarred feet. And I’m left here with such clean, clean hands. Break my heart with the things that break Your heart O God. Help me, help Your church to touch a dying word with Your gospel–in words and deeds. I’m profoundly sad, Jesus, that I won’t see Rebecca in Ghana next year. But in heaven, Lord, I will. Hold her close, please. And could You tell her thanks for me? For impacting my life? For touching Aidan’s heart? Thank You Jesus. Amen.

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