When someone in Uganda dies, people say, “Nga Kibi” (Oh, that’s bad!). There is little attempt to dress up the death of a loved one or friend. The first thing to say is, “That’s bad. That’s just terrible.”
Today is one of those days for a friend here in our community. Nga Kibi.
We are sad with Pastor Steven Vang whose wife passed away yesterday. She had a two year battle with illness that ended yesterday peacefully with Steven by her side. Friends Tim Schweikhard and Scott and Shari Norvell and many others from Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, were by Steven’s side and praying for them in her last moments in this earth life.
Steven has been a leader in the Hmong community for several years while they have held events and coordinated activities here at Garnett’s event center. Pastor Vang, May God bless you and keep you and make his face to shine upon you and give you peace.
‘I Never Saw Them as Human Beings’ (by Omar Al-Rikabi)Over the last five years, as I have shared my family’s story in churches and chapel services, I get a very common response: “I never saw them as human beings. I never thought to pray for the Iraqi people.” This disturbs me. Even more disturbing is that many of the people who confess this to me are pastors and missionaries. They champion the need for food, plumbing, and medicine in so many parts of the world, but seem to hit the brakes when it comes to Iraq and the Middle East. I have visited many congregations around the country – Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Episcopal, Non-denominational – and I see a recurring pattern: nine times out of ten the pastor will pray for the safety and success of the (US) troops, but does not offer one prayer for the people and needs of Iraq.
One thing we do at Garnett Church is to pray for everyone involved in the conflict. We pray for Iraqis as well as the US troops. Our Lord said, “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Americans and Iraqis are not the only ones in the conflict. People from many countries are involved in this war.