May ‘my heart be stirred and overflow with a noble theme as I recite my verses to the King of kings. May my tongue be the pen of a ready writer. My thoughts are filled with beautiful words as I worship My King. I will use my voice as a writer would use pen and ink’ (Ps 45:1)
My beloved children and dear brethren in Christ, it is Malia again. I thank God for every remembrance of you. I carry you in my heart and in my prayers. I decided to write as often as I can, to share with you what God is doing in my life. It is my wish to encourage you, not by my power (which is useless but) by the power of the Holy Spirit. I do not rehearse my notes or my speeches. I just pray for the Holy Spirit to take control. I write just as I think of you. My life is an open book. As I look unto the face of Christ, my Lord, I become more and more like Him, reflecting His glory. I live in the light. I shine my light for Jesus. Truth is my belt, holding my emotions. Truth has set me free indeed, from any depression, doubts, and fears. Halleluiah!
After my husband, your father in the Lord and pastor, suddenly went to heaven, on my own, I could not have been able to live a normal life again. He was the beloved husband of my youth. We were happily married for 47 years. By the way, this is a record worth celebrating!!! On my own, the grief was enough to paralyze my mind and froze my heart. In fact, the first three days after he went to heaven, I was in a daze, like living in a dreamland. I was not sure if I was living on this earth or not. On my own, I could have become a recluse, maybe like a nun in a monastery somewhere on a mountain. Naturally, I had that tendency to withdraw and become moody when sad things happened to me. When the pain of grief broke my heart to pieces, all I wanted was to be left alone and weep, or just lie down and think of nothing. Anybody who knows me in the past, could have predicted this response. But then, the Holy Spirit took over my life in a new way and forced me to stand again. I always loved the Holy Spirit. He has helped me so many times in the past. But this time, with a broken heart and shattered love story, I thought that even the Holy Spirit will draw back, intimidated by the pain and the loss. How wrong I was. I discovered again that The Holy Spirit is fearless and all powerful. The Holy Spirit is God! He never draws back when a child of God is truly in need. I did not know what to say or what to pray, but the Holy Spirit interceded for me with words that cannot be uttered by humans. He carried me up! He gave me the strength to think well again, the courage to fight for my soul, for the ministry, for my destiny in Christ and for all of you, my dear children. In the past, as a mother, even when I was sick, if our children became sick, or had a nightmare, I must get up and help them first, before I remember my sickness. Our children are adults now. But this my heart is still the same. I am now a mother in Zion! Even when my heart was breaking with grief, I could hear your weeping, I could feel your pain. I just could not remain quiet. I could not stay passive! I had to do something. That is why I got up asking God for power and wisdom from above. God the Provider supplied beyond my imagination! God’s Love will not let me faint. His Mercy will not let me go away. His Grace is more than sufficient! Halleluiah!
By now you should know that I love to talk about my husband, your father. Pastor Richmond Sisan Leigh was a true man of God. I have met many pastors in my life. The truth is that no one compares with my husband. I may be biased, but this is the truth as I see it. He was a man of God in the category of Moses, Daniel, King David, or Paul. These people do not die! They live forever! Their testimonies still challenge men, to the end of time! I cannot think of him as a man only connected with my past. I carry him in my heart at this present moment. Tali lives on in our hearts… It will always be so for as long as I live on earth. I also see him in heaven, in glory. He is happy and free. Therefore, my dear husband remains part of my eternal future, my destiny in Christ. For both of us ‘to live is Christ and to die must be gain’ (Phil 1:21). I am not sad as I quote this scripture. By the grace of God, by the power of the Holy Spirit, I am free from the bondage and terror of the fear of death. I am saying it again: Christ means everything to me in this life, and when I will die, I will have even more of Him. What a promise! What a glorious hope! These words are not the words of a coward. These are the words of champions, declaring the eternal victory of Christ the Lord! Halleluiah!
As I said before, when my dear husband passed on, I was with him in the ambulance. We were alone. The driver was separated from us by a partition window. What surprised me (and it still amazing me) was that he stopped breathing like a baby. There was no noise, no struggles, no gasping for air. For few seconds I thought that he fell asleep and I was happy that he can rest a little. Then I saw that he was not breathing again. Recently, a scripture encouraged me greatly. Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea went to Pilate to ask for the body of Jesus, to give Him an honorable burial. They did not want the body of Jesus to be thrown in the common grave. We are told that “Pilate was surprised to hear that Jesus was already dead” (Mk 15:44). Crucifixion was designed to make the victim suffer long before he can finally die. But Jesus, once He accomplished His Father’s will, He bowed His head and gave up His Spirit. There was no need for more suffering. What is the revelation? Once you have finished your work for God on earth, there shall be no more wasting time. Thank God for this revelation of peace!
As I said, we were in the ambulance going to the hospital when Tali suddenly stopped breathing. It was so gentle that I thought he fell asleep. And I am even a doctor… When I discovered that he stopped breathing, I knocked at the window to tell the driver to be faster. A minute later we parked in front of the COVID emergency ward at Oghara Hospital. They carried him inside and tried what they could to resuscitate him. But I knew that his soul was gone to God. At last, they all apologized to me for the loss. I am a doctor and I know how hard it is to tell the family that their loved one is gone. There was nothing else to be done. I just bowed my head and I acknowledged God in that hospital room. I am so happy that I was there with him to the end. He did not have to die among strangers. His soul left for God in that ambulance, hearing me praying in tongues for him. I came out and I saw brother David Efejuku waiting. I told him that Tali went to heaven. He was shocked but tried to be strong for me. Then he told me to go back and ask for Tali’s marriage ring and gold chain on his neck. I obeyed instantly. They tried to block my way saying that this is a COVID ‘no go area’. Though in pain, nobody could stop me. A power greater than me was pushing me forward. I looked like a lioness whose baby was killed. I was not afraid of any nonsense COVID. The nurses there thought that I am already mad. Who cares? I went back to the ward. The male nurse was preparing my husband’s body to take him to the morgue. I said: ‘please, can I have his marriage ring and the chain on his neck?’ The man did not argue with me. He removed both and gave them to me. I said: ‘thank you’. I came out. I put on my finger Tali’s marriage ring, on top of mine. I put on the gold chain that I gave to him as a gift many years ago. Later, when I came home, I added a cross to it. From now on, this shall be ‘my look’. I do not need any other jewelry until I see Jesus face to face. I will always be grateful to Brother David for telling me what to do at that shocking confusing moment…
Do you remember, each time Tali conducted a wedding ceremony in the church, he will proudly and happily show his marriage ring on his finger. He will tell the congregation to buy and put on their marriage rings. He said that his wife cannot go with him everywhere, but just a look at the marriage ring, will make him feel that I am close by. Now, his marriage ring is on my finger, together with the one he gave to me 47 years ago. Right now, God’s Word is much more real to me! “What God has joined together, let no man, not even death can put asunder. Amen!
As you see, my remembrance of these painful memories now sparkles in the glow of the Holy Spirit. Let me be clear: My life is not sad. I am not a victim. Nobody should be ‘sorry’ for me! God forbid! In Christ, I am more than a conqueror! This is my testimony. This is my song. This is the source of my worship to God! My life is a living sacrifice! What a privilege! This is my noble theme, written not with ink on fading paper, but with the Spirit of God, on the tablet of my heart, forever. I do not feel like a widow. I feel like the Bride of Christ! In fact, it is not just a feeling; I am indeed the Bride of Christ! He shed His Blood to purchase me for Himself. Tali is now with Jesus. Heaven is his final home! I know that he smiles over me as I write these words. He always encouraged me to feel free, to be myself, to tap from the creative, romantic, and poetic gift that God deposited within. “Oh, Tali dear, I know that you are happy over there in heaven. Your eternal joy of victory over sin and death is infectious. I feel your joy…”
Blessed be the Lamb upon the throne who died that we may live, that we may love and that we may worship Him forever! Glory! The worship must continue! Love in Christ alone, Malia!
Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh 11-08-2020