Friday, February 4, 2011

A Vapor

I received some heart wrenching news this morning that a dear friend and interpreter for our group died in Kisumu, Kenya. Elizabeth Onyango Orondo was a sweet, godly woman. She interpreted for me last year when our group was in Kisumu. Elizabeth was truly a Proverbs 31 woman. She was a student of God's Word, and always was interested in learning more about the Lord and His Word. She was one of the few women that graduated from the Pastor's school in Kisumu. We were so privileged to attend the graduation ceremony. Elizabeth was so proud that day. She walked very slowly to receive that diplomma that she had worked so hard for. Savoring every moment. Elizabeth made all of her own clothes, she was a fine seamstress, and she made the clothes for her three girls. She was so proud of her little family. Elizabeth worked hard at everything she did. She worked hard at her English. She was so precious to me the first time I was with her in Kisumu. She took the time to write out common phrases in Swahili, and what they meant in English. She wanted me to know and learn her language.She had a ready smile, and a sweet spirit about her. I will miss her greatly. But we don't grieve as those who have no hope. I know that Elizabeth is with her Lord and Saviour. I will see her again one day, and I rejoice in that fact.

James 4:14 says, " Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow, you are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away."
When I went to bed last night I had no idea that I would wake up to this news. We truly do not know what our life will be like tomorrow, or even if we will be alive tomorrow. We should take every opportunity to love our family and friends, and tell them what they mean to us because we don't know if we will have another opportunity to tell them. I sure wish I would have loved on Elizabeth more!

I will not say Goodbye Elizabeth, just so long for now, it sure has been good to know you! Until we meet again...


  1. JoAnne, you have put this into words that express my feelings as well. Beautifully written, we both loved her very much. I am sure Millicent is heartbroken as they were best friends!

  2. You are so right Joanne. I have lost several family members in the blink of an eye. Fine one minute an gone the next. We should always say what is in our hearts and more importantly with our actions. I know I have told you often but I want to tell you again that in love you and Preacher more than my words can express. Hope you have a wonderful trip even though there will be a little sadness. Wish I was going with you I miss all th wonderful people of Kenya. Love an safe journey my friend.

  3. So sad to hear of your friend's passing- and that her 3 girls wont have a momma with them anymore. Even tho we rejoice at the going home of one of our brothers and sisters in Christ we miss their presence SO much!! And we all get so caught up in the things we "need" to do and "have" to get done each day that we let so many opportunities pass us by to grab onto each other and tell each other how much we love each other. We get caught up in this busy world and take for granted that we're all going to live to be old folks and that we have plenty of time to do those special things- we think there'll always be another chance and sometimes there's not- but so glad you and Betsy have sweet memories of your friend and that you KNOW she is with her heavenly father now- but she will still be missed each and every day by those little ones and by ya'll when you go back to Kenya.

  4. Betsy thank you. I know Millicent will miss her so much, I will pray for her too. Linda, I know you have lost your dear Uncle not too long ago. Thank you for telling me you love me Linda, and I know that you do. You show it in so many ways. I love you too so much my friend, and I wish we lived closer to one another so that we could see each other more often. I wish you were going with me too. You have been a wonderful example to me with all of the Mission trips you have gone on. Barbara, I appreciate everything you said. We do get so caught up in our busy everyday life that we forget, or don't take the time to let people know around us how much we love them. We are not promised tomorrow. So we should not just assume that there will be another time to do it!