Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ!
This has been a hard week for our church family as we grieve the loss of Josh Ombiri. He was such a gift to our congregation. He loved our children, and they loved him. Even on his last weekend, he joined in the Tweener retreat. The picture we have used of him was from last Saturday, as he played games with the kids. He was excited about serving the youth this summer as an intern, and the youth loved him dearly too.
Even in the midst of this, I have never been more amazed by the presence of the Holy Spirit working in and through all of you as I was on Monday evening. You had three hours' notice and still about 200 of you responded to the request to come to the church for prayer with the Ombiri family. Your heartfelt, raw, honest, vulnerable, scriptural prayers captured both the lament and the hope that we are able to find in the cross of Christ. And James and Phelgona, we cannot thank you enough for your powerful presence. In the face of unimaginable tragedy, you stood before us and proclaimed, "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." Your courage and faith shown brighter than any other light that day. And over it all, truly, the peace that passes understanding guarded our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
How do we get through times like these? It is by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit who gives us supernatural strength when we have nothing but weakness to offer. It is the Spirit who intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. It is the Spirit who opens our eyes to see and understand Scripture. It is the Spirit who pours out grace and compassion and turns our hearts of stone into hearts of flesh.
This Sunday, we are studying "Empowerment" - the dunamis/dynamite power of the Holy Spirit that worked in and through the disciples and is clearly at work amongst us today. We will look at the story of Samson, the deeply flawed, unlikely hero who defeated the Philistines. We will look at the Holy Spirit at work in the early church in the book of Acts. And we will hear the story of the famous Azusa Street Revival in 1906 Los Angeles - a revival that still has a ripple effect on churches around the world.
We have seen the Holy Spirit at work in Josh and the whole Ombiri family. They shared with us that the last scripture passage that Josh read for them for their family devotions Sunday night was 1 Timothy 4. Take time to read it when you have a chance. The verse that leapt off the page at us was 1 Timothy 4:12 - "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity." We will always be grateful for Josh and his family for setting an example for us by walking in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Services and Arrangements for Josh Ombiri
The funeral for Josh Ombiri will be held at MLEPC at 5:00 p.m. this Sunday, with a reception to follow. The family will receive visitors prior to the service, from 2:00 - 5:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary.
On Monday morning, friends are invited to gather at the church at 9:30 a.m. to leave at 10:00 a.m. for the committal service at Mt. Lebanon Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to MLEPC, noting the "Ombiri Memorial Fund" in the memo line.