As Sarah sat in the bus journaling in the moments before she was killed, she journaled her sadness about leaving us for “so long” and countered it by encouraging herself that God had called her there for a reason. Based on that she concluded with confidence: “so I know He’s going to do incredible things.”
Just a few short months later we were at the IMB headquarters in Richmond, Virginia, delivering $91,120 for missions and ministry in Botswana, those funds having been so generously raised and donated in honor of Sarah by so many of you. We prayed as a family while we were there that God would make it clear if He was calling us to go as a family to Botswana.
In the five years since then Scott and I have had the incredible blessing of going three times, with all or some of our remaining daughters accompanying us each time. Through our time together God has tightly knit our hearts to Brent & Amanda Turner (IMB missionaries Sarah was traveling to partner with), as well as so many other precious brothers and sisters in Christ there.
In June of 2023, Lord willing, we will go our fourth time. But this time is unique in that God has opened a door for us to partner with While We’re Waiting to host a retreat for bereaved parents there in the capital city of Gaborone.
Our sweet Sarah died going to partner in sharing Christ with children in Botswana. What an incredible thing for us as her parents to now have the opportunity to share the Hope and love of Christ with parents there as they also grieve the loss of their children.
In the moments after Scott told Sarah’s sisters and me that Sarah was gone we prayed Romans 8:28. In those moments of shattering we held fast to our knowledge that we serve a God faithful to His promises, so we pleaded with Him to allow us to personally see at least some of the good He would bring from Sarah’s death and our resulting sorrow.
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 [NASB95]
He has been so very tenderly faithful to compassionately care for each of us. In the immediate aftermath of Sarah’s death we were already overwhelmed by His faithfulness to redeem our sorrow in her absence in so many incredible ways. And now He has surprised us yet again with another precious incredible thing.
Sarah prayed for months over the “little buddies” she longed to meet, love and share Christ with in Botswana. And now we have the precious and incredible privilege of praying for months over the grieving parents we long to meet, love and share the Hope of Christ with in Botswana.
I’m so overwhelmingly thankful we serve the one and only God who continues to “do incredible things.”
“Come and hear, all who fear God, And I will tell of what He has done for my soul. I cried to Him with my mouth, And He was extolled with my tongue. If I regard wickedness in my heart, The Lord will not hear; But certainly God has heard; He has given heed to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, Who has not turned away my prayer Nor His lovingkindness from me.” Psalm 66:16-20 [NASB95]