Today, hundreds and hundreds of people are gathered in Malawi to celebrate the life of a remarkable leader, pastor, father, and friend.
Our hearts are in Malawi with them and our souls long to hug those we love who are also hurting. To lose someone as impactful and full of life as Pastor Phiri is both painful and shocking. However, we KNOW what he would be telling us:
Praise Jesus. Praise Jesus. Praise Jesus.
If ever there was a man who exemplified 1 Thessalonians 5 Pastor Phiri did. His face shone with the pure and genuine JOY he received from loving the Lord and accepting Jesus' grace and love.
Pastor Phiri was constantly striving to live out the Good News that he knew and believed in his heart. The words of Christ were lived out through him and the messages of the Bible were strengthen by his living testimony of ACTION in response to love.
To know Pastor Phiri meant to have experienced the power of prayer. He sat in the presence of the Lord and BOLDLY proclaimed the power he knew was his because of his place in God's kingdom.
He was a servant-hearted leader. He served those God placed before him without wavering. He lived in a tent for YEARS to assure the orphans in his care had a home instead and were well cared for.
He gave his all for those around him because he knew a truth, THE truth...Christ had already given his all for each person and to love Christ meant to embody that as best he could each day.
Our children, at the Grace Center, were able to witness a loving father, faithful servant, humble man, and strong leader. They saw how passionately he loved the Lord and knew that he loved them from that same place of passion and compassion.
To know Abusa also meant to witness JOY in worship. He loved to laugh and praise the Lord. He lived fully and his laugh will never be forgotten. There is balance in life between embracing the moment and planning for the future and he walked that line beautifully!
As we take time to grieve today just like our friends in Africa are doing, let's not forget the message of HOPE Pastor Phiri preached. He had HOPE in life ever-lasting. He had HOPE in God's provision. He had HOPE in God's timing. He had HOPE only found in the Lord!
He knew God had great plans to prosper his community and his children. He saw with eyes of faith and dreamed with a heart set on eternity.
Let's pray and praise today in his honor. Let's cry and mourn in his honor. Let's live boldly today in his honor. Most of all: Let's commit today, and always, to sharing the Good News that Jesus Christ has come to Earth, lived, and died for us to save us from our sins and provide for us a life everlasting with our Father.
If you wish to honor Pastor Phiri's memory with a memorial gift please feel free to do so. We are praying. Karen and the team are in Malawi seeking where to focus funds raised in memorial of Pastor Phiri to honor the memory of our treasured leader and friend.