Thursday, 2 January 2014

hellos and goodbyes

As I type this, the thermometer on my parents' back porch is reading 10 degrees Fahrenheit.  Quite a change from the usual 80-85 degrees of Nassau!  Lots of snow has been falling in the 5 days the girls and I (Kristin) have been here in Butler, PA.  It was a sight for sore eyes as we awoke Sunday morning to the beautiful white flakes falling down on the quiet scene outside our windows.  A blanket of newness.  We did not know what awaited us that day or the next.  But God gave us a beautiful winter wonderland to come home to that first morning.  Our "Hellos!" had been a happy time the day before as we met mom and dad at the airport and gave hugs all around.  It was a warm day last Saturday, about 40 degrees and lots of sunshine. 

After attending my parents' church, First Baptist, here in Butler, we went to one of our favorite breakfast places for a meal, then headed home.  After having our traditional Christmas dinner that night and cleaning up all the dishes, I sat down to check email.  A lump quickly formed in my throat as a picture I was not prepared to see showed up on an IM from a lady I've never met back in Nassau.  It was a close-up of our Kali-dog's collar.  Dread grabbed me.  You see, on December 18th, Kali went missing.  We had high hopes of her returning to us and had many people across the island keeping their eyes peeled for sight of her.  But when I saw the picture of Kali's collar there on my computer, there was no denying it, she was in fact the dog that had been hit by a car at the foot of our neighborhood several days before.  A kind lady I've never met went back to the seen of the accident where the person who had taken Kali's body away had left her collar.  It was hers, no doubt about it.  I didn't know what to say or do in that first moment.  How could I tell my girls?  We loved this dog like no other pet.  Now God had taken her.  For us, she was one of the brightest parts of our move to Nassau.  It seemed as though a small little piece of us was now lost forever.

The next morning, after a night of sadness, we received even harder news.  Keith called me via Skype saying he had difficult news.  Keva, our dear sister in the Lord and one of our closest friends at Kingdom Life, passed away Monday morning at 9:30.  She had entered the hospital about two weeks ago, was put on a ventilator, suffered what appeared to be a stroke, and simply never woke up.  Keva is nothing short of amazing in her persevering love for God.  For the last 7 years or so she has been battling illness related to her total kidney failure diagnosis.  Amidst it all, she has continued to serve the church, love her family and friends all the more, and praise God with all that is in her.  It is possible that she may be the most joyful saint I've ever met.  And now, she is with her Savior.  Such a loss we cannot even fathom for our little church of 65 or so.  Keva was a part of every facet of our church and her loss will affect everyone there. 

Keva and me.  August 2013
Keva when we first met, August 2010
Please keep Kingdom Life Church in your prayers.  This is a time of grieving for all of us, but especially for Keva's family and Cedric and Alexine Moss.  Keva was like family to them, and was known as "Auntie Keva" even to our own children.  She was a member of our Care Group, and I cannot even imagine having meetings without her in this new year.
Keva Poiter, second from the right.  Always radiant.  She was the guest of honor this year at our Mother's Day Lunch



  1. I'm so sorry for the loss of your dog. I know how you feel we love our dog so much and would be so sad without her. And oh so sorry also for the loss of your friend Keva. How hard that must be for you all. I am glad though that you got to spend time with your family at Christmas and it snowed for you guys. That is fun.
    They just announced at Crossway the mission trip to you guys. It will be fun to see who responds to that call.

    Thinking of you all.
    Carol Joy

  2. So sorry to read of these losses - both precious and unique gifts of God to you. I know several weeks have passed, but I also know grief comes in waves. May the Lord continue to be near and to reveal Himself to you all and to Kingdom Life. Sorrow is meant to be shared. Grace to you ~