Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Funeral

We received an email last night from Marcus Cain about how Bethany's funeral went yesterday in Washington.

"Around 450 people were at the funeral this morning in Arlington Gospel Hall. The funeral service was about two hours long, but it did not seem long to anyone.

It began with Tom Hoy praying, then Tim Klein (who was present when Bethany was saved back in July 1999) read the obituary and made some comments about Bethany's character and life. Shad Kember spoke about Bethany's arrival in Mexico in December 2008, her time in Chihuahua with the Harveys, and how she came to Obregon and to Duncan. Shad mentioned that it was 147 days ago that he married them in the very same hall. He spoke very directly to us all, and it was most challenging.

Two young girls (Nicole and Avrell Bowden from Portage
(Manitoba, Canada)) sang a medley of some wonderful hymns. (Five other hymns were well sung during the service as well.)

Duncan followed and did very well - he read Mark 10:45 and Jeremiah 9:24, and spoke of what he had learned from Bethany's servant character. A 10+ minute slide show of Bethany's life was very touching, taking us up to the most recent times.

After the slide show we sang 'Life at best is very brief', and Tom Hoy had a good message in the gospel. Dan Harvey closed in prayer, and the congregation filed past the casket.

A large crowd went to the graveside, and close to 250 were back at the hall for a meal.

This evening there was a hymn sing back at the Jim and Bev Klein's home.

God is good, and doeth good. As for God, His ways are perfect. Perhaps beyond understanding at the present time, but His ways are perfect. Mark Bachert (Nicaragua) spoke briefly at the sing about the need to trust God daily in the details of our lives.

Please continue to pray for Duncan in the coming days, as well as for Bethany's parents, Ken and Linda Kroeze."
Amazingly, there was an open casket - the fellow from the funeral home apparently did an amazing job with her. It was closed during the funeral, but opened at the end so people could see as they passed by. I'm glad for her parents/family/friends, as sometimes actually seeing the person helps with closure - I know it did with me.

Yesterday was an incredibly hard day in general. Lots of good things happened too, that I'll write about another time, but I cried a lot. Hurting for Duncan, hurting for Beth's parents and their families, wondering Why?, looking inside myself and remembering Daniel 5:27, "you have been weighed in the balances and found wanting;", thinking about death, thinking about life, thinking about the future. I concluded (with the help from one of my dear s-i-l's), that it is a good thing to think about these things. Why? Because I don't want to be the same after this. I want the Lord to work in my life, and change things that need to be changed.

I was listening to one of Selah's CD's called Greatest Hymns while I was in the van, and enjoyed hearing, "Great is Thy Faithfulness", "It is Well With My Soul", "How Great Thou Art", "His Eye is On the Sparrow", "I Need Thee Every Hour" and "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross".
It was "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross" written by Isaac Watts that hit me the hardest, though. Here are the words:

"When I survey the wondrous cross
on which the Prince of Glory died;
my richest gain I count but loss,
and pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
save in the death of Christ, my God;
all the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to his blood.

See, from his head, his hands, his feet,
sorrow and love flow mingled down.
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet,
or thorns compose so rich a crown.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
that were an offering far too small;
love so amazing, so divine,
demands my soul, my life, my all"

Hearing that song, and the last verse especially, made me cry out to the Lord to help me to focus on the important things. To not lose sight of the eternal - of the things that matter most. I owe the Lord my EVERYTHING, and one day I will give an account to Him of what I have done and the things I have said.

On Tuesday, a young brother from here said to me, "I have always thought that I had my whole life ahead of me to serve the Lord. Now, I can see that it's possible that I don't."

Jim Elliot, a missionary (and then martyr) to Ecuador, wrote this, "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose."

Please continue to pray for Duncan, as well as Bethany's family and loved ones. The Christians down in Obregón are still reeling from this, and would appreciate your prayers for them too. This is a situation that has the possibility of drawing us closer to the Lord or has the ability for us to pull away from Him. But we can't be unaffected by it. Please pray for the preservation of those new "babes in Christ". Thank you, too, for so many who have written and assured us of their prayers for us. We could never tell you how much we have appreciated it.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Bethany

This is a poem David Alves wrote (in Spanish) when Bethany died. Eleo graciously translated it for me, and I wanted to share it with you.

BETHANY (John 11)

Bethany, blessed.
Jesus came.
In life, she repented,
and trusted God.

Bethany, resolved.
Jesus called.
With surrendered will
she heard God.

Bethany, hopeful.
Jesus filled.
Newly-wed woman,
she served God.

Bethany, asleep.
"Jesus wept."
What a quick farewell!
She went with God.

Bethany, good-bye.
Jesus will come.
"Yes, come, Lord," is our prayer.
It won't be long.


*By David Alves, October 26, 2010

The viewing for Bethany begins this evening in about 1.5 hours. The funeral is tomorrow at 11am(PST). Please continue to uphold Duncan and their families and loved ones before the Lord.

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction," (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Happy Birthday, Brayden!!

Sorry little man - a whole day late!! Yesterday was Tim's brother Rob and Ada's sweet little Brayden's FIRST birthday!! Here's a photo of him last month:
Family photo, August 2010 - Look at Brayden's chubby tummy sticking out, I love it!!



One of the things I miss so much about living away from our families is that we miss seeing our nieces and nephews grow up. We are thankful that the Lord has already allowed us two visits back to Canada since moving here, and also several of our family members have come to visit. We are excited that Rob, Ada and Brayden are planning to come visit us over Christmas this year!!! YAY!!! =) We were also told that "all four" of them would be coming - Brayden is going to be a big brother a couple months after our new little Jumping Bean is born! Congratulations, you guys!!!

My verse for you, dear Brayden is this: "How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. " (Psalms 36:7) There's nothing better we can do than bring honour and praise to our God - our Creator. There is no better place to be than in the shadow of His wings. We pray often for your salvation, Brayden - that while you are still young, you will allow God to be Lord of your life in every way. Follow Him, learn about Him, depend on Him, don't allow anything to come between you and Him, trust Him, love Him - with all your heart, soul, mind and strength!

We love you, Brayden, and hope you had a very Happy Birthday!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Still so unreal...

It's been two days since Bethany died. Two days she's been face-to-face with the Lord Jesus whom she loves. Two days her husband, families and friends have cried and mourned. But I'm so thankful that we do "not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep." (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14). I'm so thankful that she has the Lord Jesus as her personal Saviour, and WE KNOW that she is in Heaven right now with Him.

Monday was a terrible day. We heard the news about Bethany at about 930am. Tim left as soon as he could after that to go down to Obregón to help Duncan with whatever he could. I was on the phone most of the day, informing the Christians here and our families about what had happened. I think I cried all day, with a few short stops. Thankfully Tim was able to come back home that night, although it was very late.

Just thought I would share the official post of what happened with you - it was written yesterday.

"Duncan (originally from Sussex, New Brunswick, Canada) and Bethany (from Seattle, Washington, USA) were married June 5, 2010 in Seattle, Washington, and together moved back to Mexico in the Lord's Work where they both have been a tremendous help. God has blessed in salvation, and an Assembly was formed here September 26th. No one expected the events of yesterday, October 25th.

Bethany had some minor complaints of occasional difficulty in breathing, but nothing serious. She had worked hard cleaning during the day. On Sunday she did not feel very well during the day, but in the evening did feel well enough to get together with fellow workers and share a meal. She even seemed her usual, happy self. Monday morning at 7:30 am, just as she was sitting on the couch for a time of prayer with other workers, she indicated she felt she was about to pass out, laid her glass of water down, and then did indeed pass out. After just a minute or two of some convulsions she regained consciousness, and they immediately rushed her to a local hospital. She had of a great deal of pain en route. She was immediately treated in the Emergency Ward of the hospital, and the medical staff attempted to stabilize Bethany, with repeated attempts to resuscitate her. Within the hour Bethany had departed to be with her Lord. From start to finish, the time was less than 90 minutes. Local doctors, while perhaps not completely certain, have indicated Pulmonary Thrombosis as the cause of death, with a heart attack occurring in the home first, and later at the hospital. With Bethany's 24 short years (her birthday is today), we reassure ourselves that God is over all and as grief-striken as it has left Duncan, the family, and those who knew Bethany, we know that her Heavenly Father had deemed her course finished."

Last night there was a special memorial service for Bethany down in Obregón. There were 38 of us, in 5 vehicles that went down. I can think of one verse that describes what we saw perfectly. "And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it;" (1 Corinthians 12:26). It was one of the sweetest things I have ever seen. Every person there was hurting along with Duncan, and loving and supporting him so much.

Marcus Cain opened the service, Daniel Harvey spoke on the time their family spent with Bethany, and also some of how the Lord had brought Beth and Duncan together. Shad Kember spoke about "Things of Great Esteem". He spoke of how Bethany was the perfect wife for Duncan, and perfect for the work there. Please pray especially for Shad, Debi and several of their children who knew and loved Bethany like a daughter/sister. A believer from the assembly there, Arturo, spoke about how his family, and the assembly there have appreciated Beth, and what a help she has been. Duncan spoke after him. I still can't believe he did it, and didn't know how he would make it through - he was so broken. But we watched as the Lord gave him strength, and he shared some stories about Bethany, and also shared the last verse written in her notebook. A verse that she had taken strength in, and been encouraged by. "but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD." (Jeremiah 9:24)

Duncan then continued to speak to the 200 plus people who were there about the Lord Jesus, and how He could be their personal Saviour, just as He was Bethany's. There was a slide show of Bethany's growing up years after that, along with pictures of her and Duncan together, and then of their wedding. John D spoke an excellent word after that in the gospel, and then we were done. The service was a little over 2 hours long. The funeral home had brought Bethany's body in the casket, and, as is custom here, was open the entire time. Our girls had lots of questions again after seeing her. Besides everyone from Obregón, and Hermosillo, and the men I mentioned who came from other parts of the country and took part, we were thankful to see a few others there as well: David Alves Jr and his wife Penny, David's mom Lois and sister Rebeca, Gilberto Torrens, Ross V had been up in Phoenix, and came down with John and his son Nathan, plus another brother from there, Matt. It was so nice to see so many people there supporting Duncan.

I would just like to mention a few people for you to pray specifically for, besides, of course, Duncan and his family, and Beth's family. I already mentioned Shad and Debi and their children, but Dee, Emily, Ben, and Johnny were all there when Beth died. Dee and Emily would have been left all alone, as everyone was planning to leave today. Thankfully, Ross, and David & Penny, will be staying to help over the weekend. Please pray for God's hand that is working right now - both in believers and unbelievers. Pray that God will be glorified, even in this difficult time.

Today Beth's body is being sent up to Washington. They have already obtained the proper papers (Thanks be to the Lord for allowing everything to go smoothly at the American Consulate!), and everyone is heading up now to Phoenix, and then Washington, where the official funeral will be on Saturday. Tim was planning to go, but has now decided to stay here, as we have a mini-conference on Parenting this weekend that John will be speaking at.

I'm sure I don't need to ask you to pray, what else can we do at such a difficult time, but lean on the Lord and depend on His strength!?! I'll just end this post with the verse that Bethany had painted on the wall of their bedroom.

"For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light. " (Psalms 36:9)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Urgent Prayer Request

Dear Friends,

This morning in Ciudad, Obregón, Sonora, Mexico, our friend and fellow worker Bethany, wife of Duncan Beckett, suddenly passed away. Although we don't have many details, we urgently request your prayers for Duncan and the family.


Duncan and Beth were just married in June. Tomorrow, Bethany would have celebrated her 24th birthday. We feel like we're in shock, and it's just so unbelievable! We can't lose sight, however, that the Lord is in control in all these circumstances, no matter how difficult it is to understand. Please, please pray!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Happy Birthday, Kiernan!!

Today is my sister Liz and husband Trevor's little boy Kiernan's second birthday - here's a picture of this sweet little man!

Isn't he adorable!?! And here is the rest of his sweet family! From L-R: My sis Liz holding Ellie, Katja, Kierna, and Trevor.

Last night, Tim spoke to the young people here about friendships. He used many examples from the Bible about how our friendships affect our lives - either for good or for bad. I thought of that as I read this verse:

"My son, fear the LORD...and do not join with those who do otherwise," (Proverbs 24:21)

Dearest Kiernan, we have prayed for you before you were born, and have prayed for you ever since, and will continue to. We pray most of all that you will be saved, and that your life will bring honour and glory to the God Who loves you and made you. While you are so young yet, it's so important to realize that our actions even early in life affect the rest of our lives. We pray you will make wise decisions about the friendships you make, and that even the friends of your youth will be a blessing to you spiritually, and that you will grow up loving, fearing and serving the Lord with all your heart, soul, strength and mind.

We love you, and hope you have a wonderful birthday!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

A little update, and some pictures (finally)!!

It's been a really nice day outside today - even in the middle of the day it was only 28 C!! Yay for cooler weather!! Tim and Mika flew into Phoenix at 11am, but their lugguge unfortunately didn't! They had to wait until 2pm when the next flight came in, and pick it up then. They're hoping to arrive home a little after 9pm - a little later than we had hoped, but at least it's still today!

Our last few days have been busy, but pretty good. Vivian was sick with a fever, and also had teeth coming in, so has been extremely cranky, which hasn't been very fun. However, today was her first day in 5 that she was able to sleep the full time she was able to all day, so I'm sure that has something to do with it too!

These pic's are rather hodge-podge, and some were taken quite a while ago. I'll explain as we go.

Sometimes I don't take pictures of anything, and sometimes I take pictures of nothing. I was chuckling to myself at the towers I was making, so thought I'd take a picture!! =)
My sweet bookworm
Poor Shaelyn - sick with a fever, and flat-out on the couch.
My sweet Mika left this message for me! Shaelyn practicing to write vowels
The next several are some examples of the creative juices that flow through my girls. Kyla still is not too interested in colouring or anything, so these are mostly Mika and Shaelyn's:

Shaelyn
Mika - Japanese lantern
This is Mika's "aquarium" - it has two salmon in it, a crab, and seaweed!
This is Mika's "Koala Preserve", with a Mommy and her baby in the tree
Mika loves horses!
Some painting fun: A flag by Mika
Tulips by Shaelyn
Scribbles by Kyla! =)
A craft done "by" Kyla - cut out by Shaelyn!
A very special card my Mika gave me - the outside:
and the inside:
A prince and princess and somebody else, by Shaelyn!
Sweet Vivian
One night I went in to check on the girls, and they looked so funny! Here are Mika and Kyla sharing a bed:
And Shaelyn, with her hands over her ears! Somebody was snoring?? =)
One day at lunch we had another funny sleeper. Vivian, with her head still nodding.
Out cold!
A despicable-looking spider that Tim took a picture of. I would have killed it first, but anyway...
Mika made a bunch of things for Alison and Darren's wedding, including a book she wrote "about" them. It was very funny, but I just realized now I didn't write down what she had written in the book, like I was going to! I'll have to see if I can get ahold of it some time. Here's a picture of the bride Mika drew on the whiteboard.
It was our friend Christia's birthday last Monday - here's the cake I made for her. I liked how it turned out.
Thanksgiving Day - Christia was an amazing help with getting everything ready!
Eleo thought she would join the little girls' table! =)
All the adults - it was a very nice time being together!
The girls' table
The boys' table
We enjoyed a yummy dinner, then I had to run to a doctor's appointment which unfortunately took longer than I wanted. Baby is growing lots, and I got to see him/her on ultrasound. While I was gone, Eleo and Maria del Socorro did ALL the dishes for me!! Many thanks!
This was the next day when we decided in a hurry that Tim and Mika would leave that afternoon to go up to the US. Because I had so much to do, the 3 girls were put in charge of doing breakfast dishes. Mika did a good job washing, at least! ;)
She wanted a "non-posing" picture too! =)
The girls made cards for Christia's birthday, so I wrote, "Feliz Cumpleaños, Christia" so that they could copy it. Tim watched Shaelyn write this, and said she sat for quite a while, looking up at the words, then wrote down one letter, then looking up again, then wrote another letter, until it was all on there. The left side is her upside down version of it - but it's all there. The right side is Kyla's "special" picture for her!
Because we all couldn't go up to the wedding, I promised Shaelyn and Kyla that we would go visit the Children's Musuem. Christia went with us on Wednesday, and we had a nice two hours there.

Their favourite part - the mini Walmart!
Even Vivian tried it this time!
Christia with Vivian
There were different things this time - lots of food stuff. This was a big case full of "food", and plastic plates and bowls. Then they "set" the table.

A slide to go down
This girl was happy in the driver's seat...
...but did not enjoy not being "in control"! =)
Putting food in the basket from out of the "garden"
Talking to Daddy and Mika after they arrived in CanadaShaelyn and Kyla put on running shoes today, and Vivian didn't want to be left out! =)
That's it for now - looking forward to seeing my Sweetheart, and biggest girl in less than an hour, Lord willing! Good night to you all!