One of the tactics of Deeper Still Missions is to “pitch our tent” in the lives of missionaries and those who affect their life. Over the last seven years we have become close friends with Ken and Sharon Scriminger in the escarpment area of Mpumalanga. He serves on Ronas Marule’s board of directors and has planted eight churches on the escarpment. Pastor Ken is one of the humblest men I know. I asked his permission to write this report and include the picture.
Encouragement in ministry takes many forms. But nothing is more challenging than when a ministry family experiences a tragedy. Last week Ken’s son-in-law, Marcus, was killed in an automobile accident. He left his wife and ten-year-old son.
We attended the funeral and graveside to love and care for our dear friends. Just a chance to hug their neck and whisper those words, I love you. Feeling their heartbreak, listening to their stories and meeting additional family members.
Cathy and I had never been to a traditional African funeral before. It had elements foreign to Americans concerning death. They lower the casket into the ground and family members begin by filling the grave with a single hand full of dirt. Once all the immediate family has taken a moment to say goodbye and drop their hand of dirt on the casket, then friends and neighbors began to shovel the dirt into the grave.
A group of ladies stood close by and sang hymn after hymn. They sang Portuguese, Shangaan, English and various other dialects. The heart-felt sound resonated over the hillside as everyone buried Marcus. It was a very touching scene. Pictured is the grave of Marcus.
Cathy and I stood under a small shade tree in the hot African heat. Unknown to us was the grave right beside us. It was the grave of Ken’s brother and nephew who had been killed also in an automobile accident back in April. They were buried together.
We seldom know the issues affecting the life of a ministry person until you come alongside and live with them for a while. Then you see and feel the issues that press on their heart, mind and soul.
1 Thessalonians 2:8 (NIV)
8 so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of Godt but our lives as well.u
Thank you for helping us come to Africa over these years!
Cathy and Danny Sartin
t See Ro 1:1
u 2 Co 12:15; 1 Jn 3:16
The New International Version. (2011). (1 Th 2:8). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
Four decade veteran of youth ministry in churches, Youth For Christ and now is the Founder and Executive Director of Deeper Still Missions. Danny and his wife Cathy spend most of their time mentoring missionaries in Africa, Europe, Central America and North America. Future opportunities include South America and the Asia Pacific area.