Hourey is now with Jesus. Her faith has become sight. She has seen him face to face, she knows no pain or hunger, she is truly healed.
We have been so overwhelmed by the amount of people who have prayed for Hourey over the last few days. Please do not think for one second that God did not hear or answer your prayers. He did answer ... maybe not like we would have thought but He did heal Hourey & bring her to full health. She had the most miraculous healing of all ... now being in a perfect body & standing in His presence. One could not ask for more than that.
We received the call from Ibrahim early this morning & made our way to Ayorou shortly thereafter. Isabelle & Mark's parents stayed behind in Niamey while Mark, Luke & I made the trek. In a culture without funeral homes, a person who dies is buried on that same day & as quick as possible. By the time we reached Ayorou, they had already buried Hourey & a large group of people had come to pay their respects to Hourey's mom & to Ibrahim.
We were unsure of how this situation would be handled by the believers in Ayorou as well as those from the Muslim community. Hourey is the first believer to pass away since the church was formed in Ayorou. One of the belivers' greatest fears was this very situation ... "What will happen to me after I die? Who will bury me?" Most, if not all, of their families have told them that they will not bury them when they die because they have rejected Islam. They've told them that they will just leave them to rot like a dead animal.
When it came time for Hourey to be buried, the Muslim leaders told Ibrahim that she could not be buried because she was a Christian. Ibrahim could have very easily caved in so that his wife could be buried properly but he did not. Even in his grief, he remained strong in his faith & told them that he would bury his wife by himself if he had to. But praise the Lord for the church! Ibrahim's brothers in Christ came to his side & helped to bury Hourey. Three men burying a wife and a friend but rejoicing because they knew that she was now with Jesus!
As the day progressed, the obligatory visitors slowly stopped coming by & the house was left with a handful of men. As Mark looked around, he realized that all those remaining were believers. One by one they started sharing stories about their faith in Christ, recounting times of meeting together & studying the Bible, sharing what God had done in & through them since they had accepted Jesus as their Savior & laughing as they listened to each other talk.
Mark sat back in silence & awe at what he was seeing - a small group of men in a 99% Muslim village who have been united by Christ & yet finding joy in death as they all realized that for one of them her hope was finally attained as her faith (the same one they all cling to & have left everything for) had become sight. And they know that one day it will be the same for them to!
As sad as we are to say goodbye to Hourey, we have such a great peace & joy in knowing where she is spending eternity. As sad as Ibrahim was today to say goodbye to his wife & the mother of his children, he has a calmness & peace at the same realization. And he is surrounded by a great group of brothers in Christ who are holding his hand & sharing his faith as they marvel at the great miracle that was performed today.
Our Visit to Sheltering Wings
11 months ago