Our beloved children and dear brethren, it is Malia again. I am here to encourage you again. Even in pain, I am still older and stronger than you all. From my heart to yours, I send peace to you! I carry you in my heart as a necessary and welcomed burden. I pray for you daily. Daily, I bring you all before the throne of mercy and grace. As I received grace in my time of need, so you shall receive the same when your need comes. Truly, we do not appreciate the grace of God until we desperately need God alone! These days I love to worship God for His grace and His mercy to me. Words fail me to express my love to Jesus! He is so good to me! Worthy is the Lamb upon the throne!
Since my beloved husband and your father in the Lord, Pastor Richmond Sisan Leigh went to heaven, clearly, my life is not the same. Like I said before, my life now is simpler, but deeper. In my life I passed thru many difficulties and God has helped me always. But this time has been a season like no other. The pain of suddenly losing my husband and best friend was initially unbearable. The truth is that, without God, I could have crashed emotionally. You could have heard of me being admitted in a psychiatric hospital (God forbid) This is the truth; I was not sure I could live alone; I mean without the physical support, protection, and love of my dear husband. We were together for 47 and half years!!! That is a lifetime! We became one in body, spirit, vision, and purpose. Somehow, all these years, I did not pray or prepare myself for a time I will be alone on earth. Like I said in the other letter, Tali and I believed that I should go to heaven first and he will bury me, just the way Abraham did with Sarah. We both had peace with this our plan. So, when God suddenly took Tali to heaven, I was shocked. My heart and my brain stopped working. For three days I could not think or even pray. My future disappeared from my spiritual ‘radar’. My tomorrow looked so far, impossible to reach. My heart wanted to go with Tali to heaven. I was even jealous of him; that ‘he made it’ and I am still here. I knew that suicide was out of the question. I cannot kill myself. (God forbid). But I did not understand why God kept me alive on earth when He took Tali to heaven. I saw no purpose in this physical separation. My whole world crashed. In a way, my heart, as I knew it before, died with Tali…
But then, to my greatest surprise, the Holy Spirit took over my life in a new way. He filled me with His peace and with His power. He did not allow me to fall into depression. He gave me the courage to live and to hope. He helped me to read the Bible and to pray. I saw a little light into the future. He helped me to step into Tali’s big ‘shoes’ and to lead the ministry. I saw that my life was preserved, not for my will, but for His will to be done. God helped me to see that I need to accept this ‘mantle’ that fell on me, to take this leadership responsibility. That this is His plan for me. This new role is not for my pleasure, not to please men, but only for God’s glory. Like Hannah saw the need of a prophet for Israel, and offered her womb to carry that boy, so God helped me to see ‘His need’. God helped me to say ‘yes’ to His proposal, to become the senior pastor of Father’s House Bible Church, Warri/ Effurun, Nigeria. This position was totally not my plan, ambition, or personal desire. Tali has been the senior pastor for twenty years. I was completely satisfied to be his wife, his assistant and co-pilot, in everything he needed me to be, both in spiritual and natural matters. As a person, I was never over ambitious. Once I found my place in a relationship, I became satisfied. Tali was my husband, the only man in my life! Tali was my pastor too! I loved him and I submitted to him! It was my God’s given privilege to honor him thru godly submission! Even in my dreams, I never wanted to become a man, or to lead the church. I am just trying to explain to you how this transition happened, how only God could have changed my unprepared mind. To God be all the glory!
There are two factors that helped me step into the position of the senior pastor. The first one, and the most important, was that I saw God’s offer and ‘need’ for the ministry. I just cannot refuse this God. He is my God! His name is Jesus Christ! He is my Savior, my Lord, and My Master! These are not just religious words! I mean when I say that! Like Apostle Paul, me, too, I am ‘a bondservant of Jesus Christ’. I was a sinner. Jesus died to save my soul. I owe Him my life, my all! I gave my life to Christ unconditionally. I cannot dictate to Him the type of life I want to live on earth. I am His soldier. I cannot tell Him what battles I should fight on earth. He is the Captain of my salvation. He leads, I follow! He was, He is, and He will always be in charge of every detail of my life, now and forever! I trust Him! I love Him! I cannot complain when difficult things come my way. Even when I do not understand His ways with me, I still believe that ‘His ways are perfect’ (Ps 18:30)! God never makes any mistakes. Why? Because He is the Almighty God, the Faithful God, the only Living God! The devil can attack and spoil things. But he cannot kill the soul of the Christian. Be sure of this: this world does not belong to the devil. This world, even with all the sin and sorrow in it, was created by God and belongs to God. I have accepted the fact that God is Sovereign over my life, over my world. He is my King and I am His unworthy servant! That is why I never complain! In all things, I learned to give Him thanks! For He alone is worthy of my praise! The second factor that helped me to step into this new role is this: I believe that Tali will like me to be strong and do it. In his absence, I should stand! We founded this church together on the 20th of March 2020. As you know, we started this church at the command of God. We started this church from ‘scratch’ as they say. Father’s House Bible Church is not a branch or a breakaway from any other church. It is an apostolic-prophetic original and organic plantation of the Lord in this land! It is a burning bush that attracts men to come and have an encounter with Jehovah God! It is an oasis in the desert! To Him be all the glory!
Since Tali went to heaven, my vision of life and death has become clearer. Both as a medical doctor and as a pastor, I have seen babies been born and people of all ages die. Life and death are common, and they are also connected. I re-discovered the power of the presence of God in all things. His grace is truly enough to sustain life! In God’s presence there is strength, victory, and fullness of joy. That is why I lost the fear of death. Tali was right! To a believer, heaven looks so real and wonderful. I now have peace about God calling Tali to heaven. Jesus said that the Father knows when a little sparrow falls to the ground and dies. How much more God knew when His humble and faithful servant Richmond Sisan Leigh, ‘fell to the ground and died’! God knows! Fear not! In life and in death, God cares for His children! God’s Word says: ‘precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints’ (Ps 116:15). When a child of God ‘dies’, God takes it personally. It is as a ‘precious’ thing, this holy transition to glory. The word ‘precious’ means something rare, expensive, and glorious, like a precious stone. As the diamond shines in the King’s crown, so the death of God’s child has its own fragrance of Christ, its testimony of resurrection, triumphant unto everlasting life! No wonder many sinners give their lives to Christ at the service of songs of the believers! In the natural, we mourn the passing of a child of God. This grief and pain of loss is human. Do not be ashamed of it. God understands. But there is a great difference between the believers in Christ and the unbelievers, even in the way they mourn their dead. We do not mourn like the unbelievers who have no hope of heaven. We mourn in the presence of God. We mourn with peace and faith. The hope of glory, the assurance of salvation and the reality of heaven, overpowers our present pain. This is the testimony of all Christians!
Since Tali went to heaven, this is my testimony too. The fact that Tali was clearly saved with many ministry fruits to prove his salvation, gives me now great peace. I cannot imagine how a Christian wife will feel if her unbelieving husband dies. I cannot imagine that type of pain. Oh, God, have mercy… So, because God calls it ‘precious’, the death of a Christian has its own glory story, testimony, and anointing. That is why ‘the memory of the righteous is a blessing’ (PV 10:7). Like with Lazarus, when the soul of a believer leaves his body on earth, God sends His angels to carry and lead His child straight into His presence (Lk 16:22). For a Christian, it does not matter how or when you die. But one thing is sure: in life and in death, no believer is ever alone. He lives in the presence of God and he is attended by invisible, but ever-present powerful angels, who constantly minster to him. For a believer, death is a promotion, a ‘gain’. Apostle Paul said: ‘For me to live is Christ and to die is gain’ (Phil 1:21). This should be the song for every one of us who believe in The Lord Jesus Christ! Halleluiah!
As you read my letter, you see that even in my present pain, I have found peace and hope. If reading these words concerning life and death, you only sense fear of the future, it may be that you are not saved. You need to give your life to Christ!!! For the believer knows that Jesus died and rose again to make a new living way for him to pass thru death and go to heaven. This is the Gospel: Jesus died and was buried. But on the third day He rose from the grave! The power of Resurrection in Christ is stronger than death! Jesus is Lord forever! In Christ, the power and the fear of death is totally defeated. This is God’s Word! Many religious books talk about these things. But the Bible is the only Book that is completely honest about God, about life, death, and our eternal destiny. No man can be saved, and no man can go to heaven except thru Jesus Christ. That is the Gospel we preach! The prosperity and blessings God gives us on earth are good. We are grateful! But you must think of eternity! God has deposited eternity in your heart (Ecc 3:11). You must see life and death in the Spirit’ realm, thru the eyes of faith, thru God’s perspective! Ask yourself this question: After you die, where will you go? There are only two options: heaven of hell. Think of your soul! The most important part of you is your soul. You must make peace with God. At the Cross, thru faith in the shed Blood of Jesus, your soul will be saved. The Holy Spirit will witness and confirm your salvation! This is the greatest ‘gain’ you can ever have during your life of earth. Settle your soul first, then other things will be added to you. Like Tali always said: “First things first!”
God’s work remains our priority! Nobody serves God and regrets! We invest our time, effort, and finances for the expansion of the Kingdom of God, here in Warri, Effrurn, Nigeria and from here, all over the world.! This investment is acknowledged and rewarded by God. You can never lose serving God. This is His promise. As for me, I feel the wind of revival blowing over this land. God is in it! Nigeria is blessed! “Wake up, North Wind! South Wind blow on my garden; fill the air with fragrance. Let my Lover (Jesus Christ) come to His garden and eat the best of its fruits” (SS 4:16).
Finally, let me add this: during these challenging days, our children (natural and spiritual) have been a great encouragement to me. God bless them! They have matured ‘overnight’. They are more spiritual. They care for me like never in the past. God bless them with the blessings of Christ! God bless you all! Dear children be encouraged! Shine your light for Jesus! Have peace! Be strong! Worship and serve God! God is with you! God loves you! I love you too,
Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh/ 21-08-2020