From Mourning to Celebration
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By Jere Gowin
On the last Sunday in April, we learned that the primary drummer from our church at village Qgb was killed in a horrible motorcycle accident. We were called to take his body to his hometown, a remote village to the south. When we arrived with the body, the majority of our church from Qgb was there already. In addition, there were several hundred others who had come to join the mourning in this pagan village where shrines and idols dot the landscape.
They took the body from my truck and carried the boy all around the area as close to a thousand people wailed. As time passed, the wailing did not subside. Our pastor said, "This wailing must stop. This boy is in heaven." He organized our young people, and we marched up to the crowd where the body was. Our youth started to sing. The wailing did not cease. Our youth marched in a circle around the crowd, singing and praising God. The wailing still did not diminish. Then our youth walked over to our drummer boy's body and stood around their friend, singing with all that was in them. The crowd stopped wailing and listened intently. Between each song, Pastor Isaka preached with great power of Jesus and where this drummer boy was at that very moment. The singing and preaching continued for a long time until at last we placed him in the ground.
I was so proud of our youth that I was just filled with joy. Their witness to that pagan village was dynamic. Three days later I returned to that village, and Pastor Sammy and I led the old heathen chief to Jesus!
Although Jere and Ruth Ann Gowin have returned to the States, they have left the work in the capable hands of Pastor Sammy.
Churches in five villages continue under the leadership of Pastor Sammy, Pastor George, and Pastor Isaka.
Pastor Sammy is also working to finish a building in Qs that will house shea nut grinders which can be used to create income. The goal is for each church to become independent of foreign funds.