I had just bounced over barely there roads for almost 10 hours traversing rebel controlled areas to land in the city that would become my home in South Sudan for the next 7 years. A very scared taxi cab driver dropped me off at a ministry base where I had secured a tukal for the evening.
John Light was one of the first people I met. He sat with me around the campfire and told me about his people and how they were suffering. And he reminded me of promises God had given me that I had never shared with anyone. Landing so far from anything familiar, to be met with this beautiful smile and assurance I had indeed heard God’s heart correctly. Then he asked me what he should do to reach his people.
I was so humbled. And I told him the only thing I knew to tell him was to listen to Jesus and do what Jesus was doing. Talk to Holy Spirit and listen for his guidance. A few days later we parted ways and I did not see him for months and months. Almost a year later, his bright shining face walked into our compound and he told me we now had 5 churches in his home area.
John Light became one of my closest friends during my time in South Sudan. He would always arrive on our compound exactly when I needed most to be reminded of God’s promises. “Mama, I had a dream. Mama, God spoke to me…” I have missed him so much these last few years and was looking forward to the day we would meet again.
Saturday, I got word I am going to have to wait a little bit longer than I was expecting. I don’t know the circumstances, but John beat me home to heaven and he is now face to face with the One he loved more than anything. I will miss his laugh and his gentle encouragement, his passion for God’s heart and dreaming of what God could do with a group of people totally in love with Him. Please pray for his family that is still here and for all that loved him and will miss him deeply.
I wish I had a way to record every single thing he ever said. Because it all so profoundly reflected the heart of Jesus. I’m still amazed I got to count such a beautiful soul as one of my friends.
John, I’m going to miss you friend. More than I can say. I look forward till the time we have eternity to spend celebrating Him together.