I apologize. STTA hasn't provided much to ponder recently. Today, though life--or I suppose I should day "death," got me to thinking. A friend of mine, a fellow pastor, about ten years younger than me died. My friend graduated from Pacific Islands University and served as the chair of our Board of Trastees, so I thought it my duty to let others know of Hiob's passing. I realize that most of you weren't Hiob Ngirachemoi's friend, as I was. Still, I think what I had to say about his passing might give you reason to think about life and death, and perhaps make better use of the former.
I only have a few minutes to write about my friend and colleague, Hiob. My time constraints, as Hiob's passing, remind me of the vapor-like fragility and brevity of ur time on earth.
I am privileged to call Hiob, "My friend." That is a privilege that Hiob shared with many. As one who worked with him as well as enjoyed his friendship, I both enjoyed and was frustrated by Hiob's ability to focus in on the person in front of him. Sometimes that focus caused him to forget other things, but for the person who was the recipient of his attention, it was like a good satisfying meal--all you could want and more.
In 2010, Hiob spent a day showing Kathy and me around the island of Babeldaob. We heard the story of how he broke, and almost lost, his arm when he was a boy. I also know that in spite of that stunted, misformed limb Hiob was a respectable athlete. It certainly didn't prevent him from doing what he wanted to do. Over the last couple of years when I talked to Hiob on the phone I would always ask him if he had been fishing. Fishing did his heart good.
When Hiob showed me around his home island and then later when he took a group of us camping in the Rock Islands (one of Palau's treasures), Hiob's pride in, and love for, Palau was obvious. I once commented to someone else who knows Hiob, that he might be the most Palauan person I know.
At the time of his death, Hiob was Pastor of Koror Evangelical Church, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Pacific Islands University, and involved in many other organizations. His counsel was sought by various leaders in Palau and beyond. Most significantly Hiob was wife to Leah and Daddy to Micah and Jireh. They are in California. Hiob had been traveling in the States when the illness that took him suddenly came on him.
Please pray for those Pastor Hiob left behind. Pray for those who will be called on to speak at the services that honor him and point others to the Saviour Hiob loved.
I look forward to the day when I will see a big smile, hear a hearty "Alli," and be engulfed in a hug from two big arms. There is a river of life in heaven. I don't see why there won't be fish to catch. I look forward to sitting next to my friend and catching a few while we catch up.
The picture above is of Hiob on the day eight years ago, when we toured his home. The one on the left is of the PIU Trustees at our last meeting.
Often my parting words to people are, "Live for Jesus." Thinking of life's here-and-then-gone quality, those three words make all the more sense.
It's Something To Think About.
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.
Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest (Eph. 2:1–3).