Thursday, April 4, 2013

Dear Mama Karissa

Dear Mommy Karissa, I can't imagine a world without you in it anymore. Since the first day I walked into the home that you and Papa Karissa created together, I've been changed. I know your bubbling laugh would rise at this, and you'd give glory where glory is due. That is what you do. Long before I married Zach, I knew what I wanted my home to look like, of the kind of missionary wife I wanted to me. It looks like you (but with frizzy hair.) When I remember the verse, "Those who have suffered in the body are done with sin" I think of you. Not that you were DONE with sin while on this earth, but that the physical struggle you lived with daily made you dependent on Jesus, more full of grace, and more compassionate. I want to be like that. I remember a day I arrived very worn from teaching in different homes. You took me in your arms and said, "Welcome home. It just feels right when you're here." and you took down the footbath for me. I sat on the back porch realizing that the Jackson family is like a warm footbath with fragrance rising to ease the ache from journeying in this life. I know you did this for everyone, genuinely embracing them. At the retreat this weekend, we talked about God inviting us into his family, and I was trying to think of examples of hospitality that lavished love and acceptance. I thought of the Jackson Village. I shared about you with people, and they cried because my description of you made them love. Who can't love you? Later, the speaker was sharing about the Trinity and how some relationships are exlusive, new couples in love, families without margin, etc. Then he said, "But Christy gave a great earthly example the other day of the Jackson family who are a testimony to this kind of embracing. The Trinity welcomes us like that, to be part of them." I nodded in agreement because I have never understood it like that. I want you to know that I love you. That in your weakness, you showed God's strength. He shone so brightly through your life. Your children are a beautiful example of the brightness of the Spirit in you. When you were leaving Tunnel Park after our wedding, and I said goodbye once, and thought it just wasn't you remember? I ran to you like a lost child and you all wrapped me up in your love and we wept? I'm so thankful you were there with Chris and Katelyn and Karissa. What a sacrifice to celebrate with us. I think my goodbye that day prepared me for today. I want to run to you now and give you one last hug, but I will give extra ones to Katelyn Jackson and Karissa Jackson and Chris and Lum Ngwa and Caroline and Donna L. Dibbits and many others who will miss you. Thank you for loving me, and watching me grow. Thank you for long talks on the veranda overlooking the beauty of your home...for listening...for sharing your life with me. The earth doesn't deserve beauty like you, and I know Jesus is holding you now, and enjoying you. He must have looked forward so to your coming home. I do wish he'd let you remain with us a little while longer, but for you, what joy! I love you, Mommy Kali, I love you so much.

Collaboration, vulnerabity and trust

From Tuesday through Thursday, leaders of 24 Bible Translation organizations have gathered to discuss how we can work together more intenti...