Pastor Fibion serves Forgotten Voices as Spiritual Ministry Advisor. He was our former Zimbabwe Director. In his role, Fibion shares a weekly devotion with the Forgotten Voices family. Please enjoy this reflection from a pastor with a deep passion for bringing others to the heart of God.
8.27.12 – Remembering the needs of those in ministry
(The following was written shortly after Easter 2012)
The pastor – On the pulpit he doesn’t look like he can experience emotional pain but in reality he does.
Momentum for church renewal was on as we were still celebrating the death and the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I was exposing 1Peter to the flock of Jesus; building on Jesus’ challenge to Peter in John 21 to feed his flock. I introduced 1Peter 1:1-2 and spent good time on the chosen ones. A good introduction I sensed, as people responded encouragingly, showing that they were ready to hear more of the exposition.
Little did I know that I was going to be taking a painful break from preaching. On the following Monday, I got the sad news that my father had passed on. That was difficult to believe and tough to handle, but I had to accept it. Church members came to comfort me before I left for South Africa to bury my dad. How I wished he had lived a little longer so that he could see how much I loved him! The reality is that God has cut my dreams short in regards to that.
Finally I was able to travel to South Africa to join my brothers and family members to bury our dad. He received a decent burial – thanks to the Lord. They tell me how my father spoke proudly of me many a time and how he desired to see me when he was sick. It is my first time to meet some of the family members, but I can’t stay longer after the burial. Back home there are needs to take care of. After three days, I travel back home.
I cannot avoid the pain, the loneliness and the emptiness in my heart. All that sticks as a painful reality in my heart.
It is amazing but encouraging and comforting to see members of the community come to console me over the death of my father. I wonder how they got the news! Some of them are guardians of the orphans the church is assisting – but who told them, I ask myself? Thanks to the Lord for a community which has learned to care!
I realise I am still emotionally weak to preach. Thanks to the Lord for the local preacher who is willing to preach on the following Sunday. The next week is youth Sunday and I am glad the Lord is giving me time to rest and be strong! But it is not going to be so! In fact, my first sermon from after burying my father is at a funeral during the week. One of our brethren lost a father after being hit by a car. It’s like the Lord is saying “wake up, stand up and take care of my flock” when I feel I am not yet strong to do that. The Lord gave me strength and briefly I also shared how painful it is to lose your father. I realise that I identify well with the needs of this bereaved family.
The pastor: He has emotional pain like any other person. Loneliness and emptiness are not foreign to him in times of loss. He needs the comfort of his family members and that of his beloved brethren. His soul needs restoration and renewal as David prays in Psalm 23.
Dear brethren, let’s pray for pastors and all those serving in God’s Kingdom, that they may find strength, consolation, encouragement and refreshment as they serve.