When I received the news that Jesse Yangmi, our missionary in Thailand and Southeast Asia for over 45 years, and a dear friend, had an aggressive cancer that had metastasized, I sent him the following letter.
I was sorry to hear of your failing health, and want to assure you of my prayers on your behalf. Knowing of your solid relationship with Christ and years of faithful service, I do have to admit, however, that I’m hesitant to pray for your physical healing. We both are looking forward to the new body we’ll receive when we lay aside the flesh, so, like Paul, we’re hard pressed to choose whether to stay or go. But of course it’s not our choice to make, so we simply offer ourselves as living sacrifices, and trust He will use us in whatever form best serves his purposes. I must also admit that I do have to smile when I remember your telling me you hope you don’t die here because it’s too expensive.
It’s been my privilege and pleasure to be a partner in your ministry for nearly 50 years, and I treasure the times we’ve spent together. The carving of the elephants you gave us years ago still hangs in the foyer of our home, and the cookie jar Esther gave us is still on our kitchen counter. I know these things are merely symbols of our relationship, and will some day no longer be needed, but they are very meaningful to me in the present.
I do very much look forward to the day we’ll actually be together again in the presence of the One we love and serve. In the meantime, I pray His grace will make it possible for you to lie down in green pastures beside still waters as you make your journey through the valley of the shadow of death. I’m thankful you have Ati by your side, and pray our heavenly Father will comfort her, and give her strength.
Your friend and brother, Rick
I could only send such a letter because HE IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN INDEED!
God Bless, Rick