Hallo, my dear friends,
It’s been one year since I left the little tropical island San Salvador in Central America because I had to go back to Germany. I name it the crossing over to the second period of my life. Never before have I been that close to the edge between life and death. Yes, we can die any time because of so many different reasons. Not often are we told or shown before though! “Thank you father, that I may live. To you be praise and glory!”
Recently I read Psalm 116
1 I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy.
2 Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
3 The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; I suffered distress and anguish.
4 Then I called on the name of the Lord: “O Lord, I pray, deliver my soul!”
5 Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; our God is merciful.
6 The Lord preserves the simple; when I was brought low, he saved me.
7 Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
8 For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling;
9 I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.
10 I believed, even when I spoke, “I am greatly afflicted”;
11 I said in my alarm, “All mankind are liars.”
12 What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits to me?
13 I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord,
14 I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.
15 Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.
16 O Lord, I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant. You have loosed my bonds.
17 I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the Lord.
18 I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people,
19 in the courts of the house of the Lord, in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the Lord!
This is Psalm 116 which describes similar experiences that I have had during the last few months. The first half of the Psalm is especially meaningful as well as the conclusion that is the praise to the Lord, who is our Father and treats us that way. When I look at my notes from the last year, especially those I made before I got back to Germany, I can relate to the things the prayer of the Psalm is talking about. I will share some of my notes with you later in this letter.
It’s been one Year now!
Almost exactly one year ago, Keli, a friend that works and lives in China, wrote: „…My heart is saddened by your news but strengthened by your love for Christ! The kids and I prayed for you this morning and prayed specifically for the people you meet in the hospital that your love would shine for them. We also prayed angel’s protection around you and for the battle over you in the spiritual realm. …”
For me that prayer is representative of all of your prayers during the last year, and it is a big present that he has answered these prayers so visibly!
I was allowed to have a deep peace from the beginning of my time in Germany, that He has given me and let’s me have still today. I had this same peace in El Salvador when I couldn’t sleep during the night but just walked around because of the immense pain. During that time and still today I am thankful for those nights, despite the pain. I felt a strong closeness to Him, I could pray to Him and listen to music that worshiped Him.
One example of this peace was that I didn’t get really tired, it was His strength and not mine. I know that now more than ever before. There were days when I was just at the end, but I was never desperate or angry with God. Some times I have asked Him to take the pain away, but also that His will be done.
I want to give you a statement out of my diary from the 31st of March 2006, the End of my time in El Salvador: …Hebr. 12, 2: Fixing your Eyes… (Let’s look up to Jesus…) “Oh my father, I have turned my Eyes away from you to my own problems and worries lately. Forgive me my disloyalty, to you be praise and glory alone! What a dad I have! Don’t let me forget that. I want to get more and more like you, Lord Jesus. I want to let your light shine into that dark world.”
On April 24th 2006 I wrote: “… I don’t understand. The last 10 days have been a trip through countries and feelings. Not yet a week ago they gave me the diagnosis: bone cancer in my pelvis but still I have this peace. The peace that you have everything in your hand and that you have the perfect plan. Thank you, my father…! I want to ask you that those that don’t know you yet may get to know you also through me and that those that already know you get a deeper relationship to you.”
This strong bond with Him has really carried me. I have always, even when I was feeling terribly, been filled with the peace in Him. And that makes me today, exactly one year later, happy and thankful..
When I couldn’t pray anymore by myself, you helped me. That is a big grace to me too. You have been with me through your prayers so much, that the peace He has given didn’t leave me, not even when I stood before the little and big Operation or during the times when I was in the “Nirvana of the Chemo” far away from reality… That’s how I experienced His big family! Today a lot of things are different than a year ago, and I thank God for everything He has given me.
There are also some things that have changed in my family. We all experienced God. We would never have chosen this experience, but we have seen that His ways are good. My “little” brother Silas has also gotten a lot more confidence and a different view for God and his life. In just half a year he wants to spend his “year of social work” with the “Co Workers international” in Ethiopia (everyone can soon follow him on his own homepage www.silas.holmer.info ). He will go there with the experience and knowledge that God is always with him. I am really curious to see what he will experience there with Jesus.
I don’t wish more than that we all discover that He stands loyal to us and just waits for our trust in Him.
Thank you for everything! Thank you for your love, for your prayers, for your carrying with me, with us. HE is there. Him I want to praise all of my life!
One year is over ...
April, 21th 2008
Psalm 116,1: I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy.