The New Hope family lost a mother on Sept. 5, as Aunt Ketty finished her fight with cancer. Jesus came and healed His daughter by taking her home. At a service in front of her home a few hours later, Ketty was remembered for the confidence and peace she had throughout the trials of the past year and a half. The following Monday, her body was laid to rest in her home area several hours away from Kasana Children’s Centre. Many staff members from New Hope made the journey to honor her and support her family. Below is an entry which Kimberly White, one of our nurses at Kasana, posted on her personal blog.
Earlier this year, I brought my fingers to a pen and wrote a letter.
It was a letter intended for one person. And it was. And it was received. And I was thankful.
But I quickly realized even as I was writing it that there was another purpose. Somehow, my own heart took huge steps in processing a year that had been really hard. Really stretching. Really Good. And everything in between. A year of learning down to the core of my soul what true healing looks like. And even more about my God.
It has been one of the richest and one of the hardest years of my life. A mixture of two extremes.
There are no words to communicate the deep pain that comes in watching the injustice of unbalanced medical care. Maybe it’s the rawness of today or the haziness of jet lag, but my heart wants to share. And just maybe, sharing the pain will only magnify His goodness. Because even now, as the tears stream down my face and I find myself pausing to catch my breath, I want to do nothing more than assure you that my God is good. He is personal. And He is real.
So real. So active.
He is so into healing. And redeeming. And pursuing.
Today, in the wee hours of the morning, Ketty Okothi left this world. She took her last breath in the physical and her first breath in the eternal. Her earthly eyes closed and she opened them looking directly into the eyes of her Jesus. And I am quite confident that it was a delightful moment.
I received the news this morning. And have spent much of the day absorbing it quietly in my heart.
It was probably in June when I went over to Ketty’s house. I had been avoiding her. I sensed that her time was probably shorter than longer and I was fearful. I had already said see you later to two other dear individuals. Wizeye and my grams. Fearful of saying see you later once again. And as I spoke into a camera to a group of ladies thousands of miles away, my heart realized that was not what I wanted to do. I wanted to love her well. And not with fear or worry of saying goodbye… but with sweetness and assurance that if God was bringing her home… it was good. And so I walked over. And we sat in her room. I told her my heart. And together, we cried. Deep pangs of pain. We had walked many miles together. A deep friendship had blossomed and bloomed. Death is not easy. And yet, we both knew where she was going. After crying, we laughed. And laughed some more. I asked her to give Wizeye a big hug for me when she got to heaven. And I just can’t help but smile at knowing that she has.
And she is healed. God breathed Life into her on earth and today, He ushered her into LIFE.
And so tonight, I let the tears fall.
I remember a dear, dear friend who was spicy, determined, and committed.
She knew her Jesus was with her and she rested in that.
There were bumps in Ketty’s medical care.
There was someone who pretended to be a doctor at the hospital.
A big bump.
The only radiation machine in the country was broken.
A really BIG BUMP.
By the time we reached Nairobi, the mass had doubled.
A massive BUMP.
Not good for any type of cancer. Really not good for Esophageal Cancer.
And yet despite these huge obstacles, she received treatment at an amazing hospital in Nairobi funded by many individuals who joined along in both financial and prayer support.
And she had a scan that showed no evidence of tumor.
Had there been a working radiation machine all along, we might have missed seeing the power of our God.
I don’t know why God cleared her cancer and allowed it to come back such a short time later.
I keep thinking of her children. Her husband.
Please Jesus may this be a head turner towards You and not away from you.
Because truth be told…. it is hard to understand your ways in this.
But I’m choosing to trust.
And so Ketty Okothi… I suspect that you are quite busy right now.
You always talked about Jesus being in your boat…. and now, my friend, you have surely stepped into His boat…. FULLY.
You and I have said it a hundred times, “The story is NOT finished” and it’s NOT friend.
A chapter is finished, but in many ways…. the book has JUST begun.
So I pray that you are running…. and laughing….
As I whispered into your ear weeks back… God’s going to take of your family….. He will. And your story here on earth isn’t really finished.
You my friend, have left a legacy.
And to my many friends far and wide whose eyes fall upon this page….
Will you be willing to take a minute and pray for Ketty’s family.
That their hearts would be drawn to Him and not away from Him?
Thank you. I leave you with several verses that has been pivotal for me personally in the last months. As I said goodbye to Wizeye, my grams, and prepared my heart for the likely going home of Ketty, I have worked on standing in the truths of these verses. I’ve been working on memorizing them…. and am finding the peace of knowing that all of this has purpose. That the times and locations of these dear individuals was never an oops wrong place/time by God. It is all known and ordained by Him. And today, as I say see you later to Ketty, I smile. Because for Wizeye, my grams, and for Ketty…. I have seen these words come alive. And seeing that has brought Life to my own heart.
By HIS grace,
24“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’