Solomon Islands Ministries Newsletter (Issue 1)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Palu Mission Trip - Day 12

Day 12 - FUNERAL

The Salvation Army in Palu takes funerals to a whole new level with seven services officiated over three days for Mr Oskar Hohoy!  It has been an incredible privilege to witness the proceedings and to be asked to speak at two of the services.  Through this tragic loss we have been given a cultural and mission experience that we could have never anticipated.

This morning commenced with a 10.00 am service at the Hohoy home, with the entire community gathered outside the house to pay their respects and celebrate the life of Oskar.  The service included a number of very moving vocal tributes for the family outside their front door and a fitting message by Major Nyoman Timonuli.  Oskar's wife shared a heart felt testimony and his daughter a beautiful poem that didn't leave a dry eye in the congregation.  Immediately following the service there was a ceremonial handover of the coffin to government officials for the procession to the church.

Towua Corps was absolutely packed with school kids, teaching staff, Corps members and the local community for the main funeral service.  It was clear by those present that Oskar's influence and impact was far and wide.  The funeral service also included a number of contributions from the School and Corps with Lt. Col. Selly Poa giving the message.  At the conclusion of the service in the church the funeral then continued on to the cemetery.

In the evening we gathered back at the Hohoy house for a final service as a celebration of Oskar's life and thanksgiving to God for His faithfulness throughout this time of mourning.  I spoke about 'Continuing A Godly Legacy' drawing on the godly leadership of King Hezekiah and the legacy he left for future generations.  This message was a celebration of the godly legacy of Oskar's life and a call to continue that legacy through a consecrated and covenanted life committed to the ways of the Lord.  After the service it was great to see some impromptu singing by the youth and a lighter atmosphere after a very emotional day.  Ness, Bek and Adam took the opportunity to give Oskar's children two little plush Australian animals that were left by Steve and Kirsten, whom we felt were the perfect recipients for these gifts. 

Today has been a very long and emotional day, but one that has allowed us to serve and care in a way we never imagined on our Mission Trip.  We praise God for this unique opportunity to engage in such a way with Majors Nyoman and Suni Timonuli, the Hohoy family and Towua Corps.

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