For most of us, November is a month where we turn our focus to family and friends, thanking our Lord for the blessings He has bestowed on us. This month I would like to challenge you with a letter IAS recently received from one of our former staff members, Desiree Lyckelind.
As you may be aware, IAS has three colleagues presently being held hostage by pirates in Somalia. Martin Kioko, Abdinoor Boru, and Janet Muthoni Kanga were abducted on July 11 of this year, and are nearing their fourth month in captivity. You can read the story of their abduction which was highlighted in our September Snapshot.
Janet Muthoni Kanga giving praise to the Lord in one of the first photographs taken of her after being captured by Somali pirates.
GIVE THANKS IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES;
For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” – 1 THESS. 5:18 ESV
What follows is a letter our Executive Director, Leif Zetterlund, received from Desiree in regard to our staff member held hostage, Janet Muthoni Kanga.
“(I) just wanted to share something with you all in this very difficult time.
As you know, I have known [Janet] Muthoni for many years. Our friendship started off in Garissa [Kenya] and has grown strong since then. Garissa is also the place where God put the Somalis, among other people, on Muthoni’s heart – and there is where we started to pray for the Somali people and a change in their country.
Muthoni has always been a “praying lady,” constantly in a mood of worship. This song is what she posted the last time I heard from her before the kidnapping, with the words: ‘No guilt in life and no fear in death! What more need I ask?’
‘No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
’Till He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand’
Words so true and words so strong. I hope you find the song and its lyrics comforting and strengthening. I know this is what Muthoni is holding on to right now.”
Ofosu Mensah, Comfort Asante, and Jasline Riyee – All grateful for the help received from IAS in 2012
Whatever circumstances you are enduring this Thanksgiving, there is something for which to be thankful. Reading through the IAS newsletters from this past year, I was once again impacted by the stories and pictures of lives changed through our work. Together we have started businesses and supported families where there was nothing but hunger and lack. Entire communities in Sudan now reap the benefits of having clean drinking water from IAS well projects.
Many across Africa are thankful for the efforts of IAS this year. What do you have to be thankful for this season? Reading some of Janet’s last words before she was captured, I find myself thankful for life, family, and the Lord’s provision. Should all this be stripped away one day, I pray that I can truly believe, just like Janet, that “…Jesus commands my destiny.”
Happy Thanksgiving from the IAS team. We are thankful for your partnership in our efforts.
President IAS America
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