Ever had a day that turned out being totally different to what you expected. I guess most people have, but there's no way I would have predicted today becoming what it was.
The day started out well, waking before the alarm clock after a refreshing sleep. The usual morning things happened and then it was off to school, where we got the day underway in a slightly different than usual way. My kids are learning a song to sing in a round for the end of year concert, and today they got it really well. Way to go 4th grade. Next week we might even put some actions with it. Then it was on to our Daily Language Review activity, and following a little pre-teaching, I ended up giving stickers to all except about 3 of my students (to get a sticker they have to get it all correct 1st time so this was something of a record). Language Arts and Khmer were next, and the day was proceeding pretty much as usual. After recess duty, and getting spelling tests under way, I headed down to the office to check over some photocopying that we ordered, ready for next year, and while I was there I found out that one of the students from my previous school, Logos, had been killed in a traffic accident overnight. I knew him slightly from my time there, and was able to juggle some things so I could attend the memorial service being held that afternoon. Several of our high school students at EWIS were friends with this student as well.
The memorial service this afternoon was an experience I will never forget. Such grief, openly expressed, over a young life lost. The whole service was in Korean, so I understood little, but one hymn they sang reminded me, that even in their grief, they were not forgetting the certain hope we have that Yo Han is with Jesus, and that one day they will be united again.
This evening, I was able to attend a gathering of a very different kind. The annual Logos awards ceremony was scheduled for this evening. It's a very important time in the lives of many students, especially those getting "honours" or "high honours". In the light of the events of the last 24 hours, the evening's program was modified. The students still received their awards, and a few special awards were announced publicly, but what followed was a precious time of remembering Yo Han and celebrating his life.
One of the teachers expressed it beautifully when he spoke of Yo Han. The essence of what he said was, "grieve for those who are left behind, for those who are missing Yo Han, but don't grieve for Yo Han, because he's gone on ahead to a life more full and more amazing that anything we can imagine". Yo Han knew Jesus, and it was great to hear of his personal and spiritual growth over the past year or two. Without a doubt, Yo Han is celebrating tonight. He is with the Lord, and those left behind have that blessed comfort of knowing they will see him again.
For now, I need to pray for those students at EWIS who knew Yo Han. I pray that they will know the comfort that only Jesus can bring. I pray that they will know the Jesus that Yo Han knew, because I know that's what he would want.
It reminded me of the time when my Dad died. Yes, I was sad, and I still miss him, but I don't grieve without hope. I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that my Dad is with his Lord and one day I'll get to see him again. Dad would have been 74 yesterday. I wonder if he's met Yo Han yet? I wonder if they are both worshipping our awesome, all powerful, all knowing, all loving God together. I think my Dad would enjoy Yo Han, because Dad had a "naughty" streak too. Dad wasn't perfect here on earth, but it is now, just as Yo Han is, not because of anything either of them did, but because of what Jesus did for them!