Greetings in the Name of the Lord. I would like to share some of my recent experiences on this mission field of Kenya. Yet before that, let me say that I am grateful for your prayers and encouragement at a difficult moment of my life. May the Lord comfort you as you have comforted others in His love.
I have a friend. She is the owner of the farm near the Bible College of East Africa. For the students to take morning tea and bread, we get milk from this lady’s farm where she keeps her cows, goats, geese and so on. I used to go there to get milk for my personal use. Many things there capture my attention: domestic animals on the farm, bottles to keep milk, bananas, and eggs to sell in the house. Among all these, I like the old lady sitting on a chair, managing sales and her business there. Though she stays on the chair most of time (due to size and age), she welcomes customers, gives orders to her workers, calculates to issue invoices and receipts, and so on. I used to admire her efficiency in her sales and kindness to her customers. I wished I would grow old like her. One day I asked her age and her secret to keeping herself young and sharp in her mind. She made a smile and answered me, “I am old. I have 83 years. I maintain young myself because I do live today only as if there were no tomorrow.” By her words, she must mean that she treasures every day with joy. Surely, I do witness how she enjoys her work and cares for people. It was just near the end of last year.
One morning last February, I received a message from my mother, “Dad is gone, to the glory of God”. My father was old and had been sick for the past 12 years, and my mother had always been there for him. For the very last few days he was in the hospital. Yet it was too sudden to hear of his home-going, because he was apparently recovering. “Now what will happen to my mother? She is alone!” was the only thought that crossed my mind. To my surprise, a ticket home was found very soon, and by the late afternoon I was on the plane to Korea. I travelled 24 hours to reach my destination. It had been three years and two months since I had left home, and my father was no longer found in his house!
My mother told me that my father had been taken to the hospital because of hypoglycaemia. After examinations and treatments in the hospital, he improved and everything was ok. When he was discharged, he was so happy to be back home. Soon after his arrival there, he took porridge prepared by my mother, and went to rest on the bed. My mother went out to fix a broken water tap in her garden, which took about an hour. When she returned to talk to him, she found he had already gone, so peacefully. My mother was very calm as she had said that it had been her prayer that he would go in sleep, peacefully. I also remembered his wish: “I would die in this place where I was born”.
I didn’t cry. During the days of mourning and the funeral, I moved around with calmness. Yet in my heart, I wondered how this world could still go so well without my father, how the sun could rise and set as usual? All my life, his existence was the very reason how I could come as a human being in this world, as he shaped me as a daughter and a member of his family. So strange; I felt my life, the world, people could continue without him being there. I came home and had to take away his belongings: clothes, notes, pens, glasses, books, etc. Surely, in this way you disappear, without a trace, from where you lived so long? The more I remembered his passion, struggle, relationships, works, the more I felt empty, and I asked myself “for what is this life?” “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” James 1:14. Eventually, nothing remains, and nothing changes after you are gone; I saw how my end would be on this earth.
Now, I had to leave home and my mother. In tears, she said she belonged there and I belonged to the mission field, and everyone in his or her place is the best place to live to God. I came back to BCEA Nairobi, where I returned to the same work, same place, same schedule and same people. Indeed nothing has changed, but me. Every morning I open my eyes and tell myself “today is not just another day, but an opportunity to live to God.” The vanity of this short life turned out to bring meaning in the Lord. Now, I do treasure more my duties and people on this field. They have become more precious as I live today, a day given by the Lord. “For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.” James 1:15
Friends, please pray for my spiritual growth in love and care for God’s people and for the BCEA staff who are also labouring and serving on this field.
In His service,
Bai, Eun Young