When Mary Rose died gossip flooded the village.
Each person had an idea why she died. Some said her husband killed her, while others claimed that another village worked black magic on her, and still others were sure an ancestor struck her dead.
One of the Yembiyembi men who has not trusted Christ said, “I saw her floating on the road. She was hanging out with two other dead ancestors. She spoke to me and said, ‘Help me, I am feeling the fire of pain. Pray that I leave this place.’”
But the Yembiyembi believers stood strong as a group, searching God’s Word for ways to disprove the wild ideas floating around.
“Is that true?” said a believer who is training to teach God’s Word. “What does God’s Word tell us? There are two places we can go when we die, Heaven or Hell. Our spirits don’t float around the ground asking for us to help them get to Heaven. No! The time to believe in Jesus is when you are alive, and she did believe.”
The leaders in the church arranged the service for Mary Rose. Nine men were scheduled to pray and preach and each had their own verse or topic to share. The Gospel was presented seven times in spite of the death threats.
“This funeral is not for Mary Rose,” a Bible teacher in training said. “We are not here to ask God to accept her into Heaven. She already straightened that road when she was alive. She has already left us and now is in Heaven – feeling no more pain. For us to ask God to accept her into Heaven would be just plain stupid, because there is nothing more we can do to help her anymore.”
While Mary Rose’s death is sad, the believers chose to make the most of the opportunity to declare that she is in Heaven and let everyone know how to follow her there.