linvilles in fellowship

What we learn as we fellowship with other Christians.

linvilles in Love with Mr. Bishwas

[UPDATED as of Sept. 17th, 07:50am EST]

Dearest prayer warriors,

On September 17th, at 4:41am EST, Mr. Bishwas’ old and broken body lost it’s mortal grip, releasing him to behold his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, finally and forever.

We’re so humbled and thankful for all of your love, prayers, and support.

Please pray for my national partner, Jacob (Mr. Bishwas’ son). Jacob was out getting one of his dad’s medications when Mr. Bishwas passed away. Jacob is thankful that his dad is now with Jesus, but he’s very disturbed that his dad died alone, calling out: “Where’s my son? Where’s Jacob?” as heard by Jacob’s wife who found Mr. Bishwas deceased when she checked on him a few minutes later.

Please leave encouragements and Scriptures in the comments and we’ll be sure to write them all out on cards and give them to the Bishwas family.

in Love

the linvilles

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linvilles in Love with 2015

A quite road through our village near our home.

A quiet road through our village near our home.

How are those New Year resolutions coming?

I made New Year’s resolutions 2 days ago that I’ve already failed to keep! I failed to keep one of them this morning after I slept in, and I failed to keep another one soon thereafter. Two days ago, I resolved to get up at 3:50am everyday to study Scripture and pray. When that alarm went off this morning, I hesitated. Never hesitate with resolutions. I was sound asleep again in seconds. The next resolution I broke was actually the prescribed consequence for breaking a resolution, which is to fast through the next meal.

The cards were stacked against me.

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, Mrs. Linville had made cinnamon rolls from scratch, and thus it was over before I knew what hit me. It was worth it. In my opinion, a fast is a great consequence because it creates time to do what I missed out on, and gives me practice in the self control I lacked when I turned my alarm off and went back to sleep, but that’s not to say I’m doing all this on my own:

“Resolutions don’t work without a partnering consequence and consequences don’t work without an external source of enforcement.”

Mrs. linville being beautiful!My wife is my enforcement, and she will ensure that I will be enjoying the rest of the day without food (two meals for two fails). Now, to be clear, please know that I’m not mistaking my consequence-fast with a pray-and-fast kind of fast. No way. While it’s inevitable that there will be spiritual benefits, I acknowledge that this is more psychological in nature. I understand that the devil is capable of causing people to sleep in, but this time, I just wanted more sleep.

I slept in because Mrs. linville and I stayed up celebrating the completion of all my course work for the two intensive graduate classes I need for my masters degree. The classes start Jan. 5th and will be held in Chiang Mai. I’m excited about everything I’ll be learning, but I’m not looking forward to being away from my family for two weeks. Please pray for us. For those curious, my 2015 resolutions are: to rise, to rush, to run, to reach, and to reign.

– To rise before the sun.

– To rush before the Throne.

– To run away from sin.

– To reach for God’s Word before anything else.

– To reign with Christ in my responsibilities:

1         + Over my fears: to dwell in Christ by striving after Him in word and deed.

1         + Over my faith: to share Christ with everyone everywhere in love.

1         + Over my flesh: through wise nutrition and exercise in Christ.

1         + Over my family: to love, serve, lead, pray over, provide, and protect them.

1         + Over my friends: to love, serve, encourage, pray over, and exhort them.

1         + Over my foes: to love, serve, pray for, and make peace with them in Christ.

To be honest, these have been my resolutions every year for over a decade. I imagine these could be your resolutions too, and you may have them! While I’m familiar with the resolve, I’m not as acquainted with the consequence. That part is new, and I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes.

Okay, now my enforcement is telling me:

“Here’s a loop hole: you had to sleep in because we celebrated so late last night and your today need not be punished for your yesterday’s folly!” – Mrs. linville

(-_-) … …  I’LL TAKE IT!  (I mean, I fasted through second-breakfast, elevenses, AND lunch; plus it’s roasted chicken night guys!!!)

I’m beginning to see a weakness in my plan… (laughing out loudly).

Backpedaling!

Everyone who knows my wife would agree with me that she is the epitome of empathy, hence the quote above, but let the record show that her empathy was not the weakness in my plan – I was. Everyone who knows me would agree that I’m a little too spontaneous for my own good.

“I’m great at making quick decisions, but not so great at making the best decisions quickly.”

My wife was stern but loving  with me regarding my consequence as I fasted through the afternoon, but she had made a good point. If failing to get out of bed was the compromised resolution, why wouldn’t fasting through lunch count? Specifically, why must it be the very next meal that I fast from? Perhaps the stipulation is too strict and needs revising. And indeed it did, and indeed it was. Now there’s a good enforcer: one who knows not only how to enforce, but what to enforce. Ultimately, this is about growing in my walk with Christ, so remaining focused and obedient to Jesus is the blessing beneath the burden.

I resolve to follow Christ.

Jesus didn’t call us to be Pharisees – making rules for our rules – he called us to be his. Resolve to follow Christ! Failing in that resolution is its own consequence, for not following Christ means so much more than not going to heaven. Not following Christ means following something else, and everything else is inherently wanting. Following what will only deplete and can never revitalize is the essence of being spiritually dead; following one’s own misguided appetites, but never knowing fulfillment. Nope. Let’s resolve to follow Christ.

Now its time to pack for Chiang Mai! Please pray for my safe travels, I greatly appreciate it! Please leave a comment: if you know of any fun Chiang Mai activities or if you made any New Year’s resolutions!

Thanks for reading,

In Love

the linvilles

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linvilles in Love with SPECKA

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Our temporary home.

It was a beautiful day as we drove onto the campus that was to be our temporary home for the next eight weeks. Our job training began January 21st and ended on the same day in March, a week ago. For these two months we were provided with three meals a day and a cozy little apartment within a house that held three other apartments, and thus, we called these houses “quads.” Our fellow quad mates were incredibly interesting families, all of whom were going to South Asia, and one couple had already worked there as singles and were returning with a 13 month old and a baby on the way!

Everyone we met during training had the most amazing stories and it was exciting to be able to share in this peculiar adventure of relocating elsewhere in the world with others. The knowledge that we were not alone in this transition made the scarier implications a little less frightening.

Thus our training started every weekday at 07:00. Most days we got off work at 15:00 since that’s when the provided childcare ended, and some days one of us would have to stay until 17:00, and a few days one of us would have to work until 20:00, but never later than this.

Our workday consisted of several sessions: the morning session, lunch, 1st evening session, 2nd evening session (and child pick-up), diner, and the occasional night session. During these sessions we learned the intricacies and various exceptions of our company’s policies, their overall expectations of us, and what our expectations should be of them. We were given personality tests (MBTI) and led through team building exercises. We met the company leaders and heard many inspirational stories of both success and failure.

Some sessions were held in a large auditorium with the whole group while other sessions had us split up by destination, age, marital status, number of children etc. and were conducted in smaller amphitheaters.

While it was exciting to learn the finer details of our company, we were much more thankful for the opportunities we had to draw closer to Christ and to each other. Never before had we spent so much time together, even while dating. Hitherto, there was always somewhere one of us had to go, be it work or school. It was such a blessing to get up together to pray, read Scripture, and talk over coffee, only to leave for work together to work together!

It was also very nice for little linville to go to classes designed just for him. His teachers were amazing and there was only one time that he cried after being dropped off and he had good reason to cry after falling and bonking his head on a bench in his mad dash to get to class. Little linville loved having other little people to play along with and he seemed to flourish in the classroom environment. Like Mr. linville, he seems to thrive on social interaction. His teachers went beyond arts and crafts and taught him about flying in airplanes, riding in rickshaws, and introduced him to the animals of South Asia as well.  Little linville learned how to walk in line and how to sleep on his own little cot and how to sit in his own little chair. His teachers often had funny stories to share with us about little linville, for he had a habit of sneaking into the bathroom to play in the water or sneaking out of class to play with the older kids. Nevertheless, despite all his fun, he never failed to run into our arms at the end of the day yelling “mama!” or “papa!” with a big grin on his face. We were so thankful that he loved school so much.

There is no way to share everything that we learned from our training. The practicality of it all was so reassuring, especially for a family that has never traveled internationally. To summarize, let it suffice to say that we have been taught how to survive the trip, how to expect the unexpected, how to avoid most diseases, how to stay relationally and mentally healthy, and how to adopt a foreign country, language, and culture so as to make it our country, our language, and our culture, and therefore, our new home.

For us, as Christians, we also learned something that will greatly help us in the days to come. A loving brother taught us a new way to see the Scriptures using the acrostic: S.P.E.C.K.A. It breaks down like this, as you read the Scriptures you ask yourself: “do I see any sins, any promises, any examples, any commands, or any knowledge, in this passage that I can apply to my life?” In the end, it’s nothing more than a simple way to avoid skimming over Scripture. You will always be more observant when are looking for something than when you are not. There are many more helpful Bible study tools out there, like the inductive method, but this is a simple straightforward tool that we have enjoyed using as a family.

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Mr. linville’s grandaddy a month before he went home.

We are so thankful for everyone’s prayers for us during this time of learning and growing. So much has happened in just the past month that it’s hard to think straight. Even now, as I right this, we are driving back from Florida where we were blessed to be able to attend the funeral of Mr. linville’s grandfather who passed away on Sunday. Thank you so much for your prayers! We desperately desperately desperately need your prayers.

For those who have been praying for us to receive our visas, thank you so much. I spoke with the Embassy today, but to no avail. It breaks our hearts to admit this, but it does not seem likely that we will get our passports back in time to depart on Sunday, as scheduled. Nevertheless, we rest in God’s timing and esteem His plan much better than ours, praying, as Christ taught us “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt 6:10); and we are empowered by Christ’s words in Matt. 18:19&20 “Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

Gratefully yours,

in Love

the linvilles

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linvilles in Love with m&m’s, THE END (of the beginning)

What follows is an ongoing story. Please read these previous posts before continuing if you haven’t already:

The Intro

Act 1

Act 2

Act 3

Act 4

THE END (of the beginning)

Scene 1:

July leaves and August enters with miraculously answered prayers! Although, this wasn’t entirely unexpected…

A month prior, our dear friend, pastor Rod Wilton, had invited my wife and me to fast with him and his church through the first week of August. For the next thirty days, we prayed for God’s grace to do this because it would be the longest fast either of us had ever attempted. As we prayed, God gave us a spirit of peace and, when the fast began, we were enabled to join in. The experience was amazing and produced the most intimate and passionate times of prayer my wife and I have ever known.

Dear readers, I know it’s been a long time since my last M&M installment, and I deeply apologize. Thus, to be sure everyone’s on the same page, let me quickly recap events thus far chronologically:

July 1st ~ We begin to pray for the faith to fast through the first week of August.

July 23rd ~ Mekhi shares his burdens. God blesses us to bear them together. I share the Gospel with Mekhi for the first time.

July 24th ~ Mekhi brings Kayla over for us to pray for her to stop having nightmares about her late baby sister, Hope. Mekhi asks me to share the Gospel with Melanie.

July 29th ~ Melanie laments Mekhi’s recent downward spiral into depression and alcohol over the loss of Hope and continued unemployment. Mrs. linville shares and encourages her with the Gospel. I pray for a miracle.

August 3rd ~ God answered. Mekhi dreamed.

The doorbell rang. It was around 9:00pm. I was tired from a 13 hour shift. I didn’t want to answer the door. God graciously, but forcefully, pushed me. God gets all the glory. Mekhi was standing in the hall and motioned for me to come out. As I did so he stepped back, put his hands over his face, leaned against the wall and slid down with a groan of defeat. I was nervous. We’ve had 2-3 hour long conversations while standing in that hall. How long would THIS conversation last if he was already taking a seat? At a loss and curious to find out why he’d summoned me, I sat against the wall opposite him. He confessed his recent frustrations, which I already knew a little about from Melanie, but then he went deeper. He opened up and got vulnerable. It was surreal and somewhat like deja-vu, except I hadn’t dreamt this before, no, something else…I had prayed for it!

Scene 2:

Mekhi was a persuasive speaker, largely due to the passion with which he speaks. I don’t like vanilla ice cream, but in five minutes Mekhi could have me unconsciously nodding in agreement with how great vanilla ice cream is if he wanted to. Now imagine that type of passion pouring over you, but sorrowfully. His life has been hard and painful and he didn’t spare many details in describing it to me: where he’d come from, where else he’d been, how he got here, and why he wanted to leave, but couldn’t. His trust was completely unexpected and his vulnerability completely uncharacteristic. For me, only one explanation sufficed. God was working on Mekhi and I was witnessing a miracle! I sat patiently and listened, honored and delighted, cautious to note the details, focused (by God’s grace) despite my exhaustion. All of this backstory was not merely venting, as I might be tempted to assume; no, Mekhi was leading up to something and I needed to be ready when it arrived. It didn’t take long. I was warned by the sudden choked pauses in his story. I saw the tears well up that he fought back down. And then he said it: “I miss her, Mr. linville. I know she’s in a better place, but why did it happen? Why? I can’t stop thinking about her; who she might’ve been. I’ve been dreaming of her, about her laughing. Nothing else. We’re just there, laughing together. Melanie says I’ve been laughing in my sleep; laughing so hard it wakes me up. Then I realize she’s gone. That I can’t laugh with her…” He paused, the Spirit smacked me over the head indicating an opportunity to glorify Christ, so I said the first thing that popped into my head.

Scene 3:

I heard myself talking, but I could barely believe that it was me. I told Mekhi that Hope was with Christ and that he could be with Christ too, right now. God became flesh and dwelt among us in the person of Jesus Christ! I invited him to accept Christ as his Lord and Savior, and explained what that meant. He looked at me so intently that I could feel the war raging inside of him. When I finished my invitation, which only took a few minutes, the following silence was almost deafening. Mekhi kept staring at me and I held his gaze, praying desperately for his soul. I knew this was his defining moment. I knew that he was about to become my brother in Christ; that this was what all his previous hardship was for. All the difficulties of his life culminating upon this one eternal point in time. I knew God was about to rescue another lamb from the slaughter.

I was wrong.

Scene 4:

The call came only two weeks ago. It was our neighbor, Ross, who called us. “Mekhi is gone.” The police investigation was conclusive: he had been stabbed. The knife had pierced his heart. Even more shocking than is: Melanie had wielded the knife.

At only 23 years old, Mekhi was gone. He is gone! Gone! Gone!! GONE!!!

Immediately, my mind rushed back seven months. Recalling that fateful night, sitting on the floor with Mekhi, holding his gaze, praying, a war of eternal consequence raging in his eyes. I knew God was doing a work within him; but it wasn’t what I expected. Just as though it were yesterday, I remembered how He abruptly looked down and said, “I can’t get with God yet, but I feel Him, and I know He’s just right there, but I can’t until I figure a few things out.” NO! I had screamed in my mind, but remaining silent. Something inside me had broken. I remember fighting against Mekhi’s decision to wait, but he was resolved. When we had finished, I prayed for him aloud, and we parted ways. I couldn’t sleep that night, knowing in my spirit that a horrible divergence had occurred right before my eyes, yet  with all my heart, I hoped that I was wrong.

Scene 5:

Between August and November, the month we moved out, we grew as close as family with M&M. We were always in each other’s apartments. Baby linville and Kayla were cousins in all but blood. My wife watched over Kayla and Melanie watched over baby linville as their own. Mekhi not only got a job, but several. His hard work and determination even got him some promotions! They eventually bought an old car from a friend and even gave up alcohol (which had been a huge monthly expense). We studied scripture as one big family and I was blown away when Mekhi turned two Jehovah’s Witnesses away after an in depth theological debate of John 1:1-3.

Mrs. Linville made progress with Melanie in teaching her life lessons from Scripture as the opportunity arose and slowly began to see a real conviction of sin reveal itself.

When the time came to leave The Mill behind, there were sincere tears, even from Mekhi, relinquishing his blithe persona. We moved in with some members from Treasuring Christ Church and focused on the task before us: preparing for our training in Virginia. We didn’t forget about our friends; indeed, it was difficult to since Kayla’s school and the police still had us down as M&M’s primary contact. As time came between us, these calls became more frequent, until we had to ask to be removed as contacts since we also couldn’t get ahold of them. All things considered, we couldn’t help but realize the implications of these calls: M&M had heard the gospel, and had received it with joy, but as soon as their faith was tested, it proved unfounded. Jesus speaks of this in Luke 8:13, “And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away.”

For this to be the end of Mekhi’s story is the definition of tragedy. His is the epitome of hopelessness. Nevertheless, I have hope, for I speak from assumption, inferring his heart from actions as we watched them unfold through the grape vine. I pray he really met Christ; that he figured out what he needed to and denied himself, took up his cross, and followed Jesus. Or perhaps he saw things clearly during his final hours in the hospital. I will continue to hope, but, should the contrary be true, I know my God to be just and Mekhi’s condemnation will be seen as utterly right, for God is faithful to His promises. Now we turn our attention toward Melanie, currently being held in Wake County Detention Center. My wife has sent her a letter in attempts to encourage her that all is not lost, that she is not lost, if she still holds fast to Christ. We cannot judge her, and are forbidden to do so, just as we are desperate to love her, and are commanded to do so.

Even though we soon depart for the opposite side of the globe, we are blessed to live in an age that allows us to still communicate instantaneously. Melanie is not lost, and my wife rejoices in the opportunity to continue to reach out to her, even from across the ocean. We have also been greatly encouraged by the members of Treasuring Christ Church who are already organizing efforts to begin visiting Melanie in our stead. The story is evermore! That is why this small chapter is merely the end – of the beginning.

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linvilles in Love with m&ms, Act 4

Before continuing m&m’s story, a family update is in order.

We are living on the floor and it’s awesome. Save for a few orphaned couch cushions and forsaken pillows, we have nothing to sit on. We eat meals off our coffee table. Baby linville loves it, and we do too.

Mrs. linville is busy getting all her craft supplies in order to sell/distribute/give away following the annual Craft and Bake Sale at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. She really outdid herself for this and brought home over $700 in profit!!! My wife is amazing!

I (Mr. linville) am about to have my final weigh in which will skyrocket us into a torrent of paperwork as we take the next (and final) steps toward going overseas!

And now: our feature presentation!

What follows is an on going story. Please read these previous posts before continuing if you haven’t already:

The Intro

Act 1

Act 2

Act 3

Act 4

Scene 1:

Working in the medical field is hard (13-14 hour days!), but there are little things that make it easier, like only working three days a week. Even so, I came home Monday night, July 23rd, feeling good, despite knowing I’d be up at 3:00am the next morning. God was working in our lives to get glory! In my experience, there is no thrill as exciting as that; not public speaking, guitar performing, rock climbing, mountain biking, snowboarding, mountain-boarding, cliff diving, skydiving, nor airplane or helicopter flying. No exaggeration! hanging from a cliff or flying through the sky is not as exciting as seeing the Creator of mountains and air WORKING through you to get glory for Himself!

So, Monday went by in a flash. I don’t think I ever stopped smiling. The tech I worked with for the day was probably a little weirded out. Fortunately, she’s a Christian and understood (I hope). Mekhi was coming over that night to use the computer and I could hardly wait to talk to him about what he’d been reading in John and how he had been experiencing God in prayer. I was ready to hear about some supernatural transformation! When Mekhi came over he certainly seemed different. Wearing a big smile, he mentioned some texts from John that moved him, and some that confused him, but he said he had to go and wouldn’t be using the computer that night and then left. It was anti-climatic, but God wasn’t done.

Scene 2:

Through July, Mrs. linville helped me get my tendency to watch online shows under control, so instead of sitting and watching something during/after dinner, we sat and talked. The Lord really blessed this and we were still talking at 10:00pm when the doorbell rang. Opening the door we found M&M standing there with Kayla. They all came in and Mekhi asked us to pray for Kayla. He shared how she had been having nightmares every night and would wake up screaming for Hope. We prayed and comforted Kayla as best we could, and then something amazing happened.

After an awkward silence, Mekhi thanked me for talking with him about Christ the day before and then asked me if I would mind sharing with Melanie what I had shared with him. Woah, what!? My heart exploded and then grew back in the same instant. I joyfully shared the gospel with Melanie again (the first time was when she sought shelter from Mekhi after their big fight). She listened intently and began crying as I shared with her the love of God to reconcile us to Himself through Christ. Once again, I was in awe. God wanted these people and, despite themselves, He was going to get them. Seeing God’s pursuing love of this couple filled me with peace. He will complete what He has begun, both in me, in Mrs. linville, and now in Mekhi and Melanie! I don’t know why I assumed it would all happen without any trouble. I don’t know how I forgot about the enemy and the darkness of our own hearts, but in the joy of the moment, it had slipped my mind.

Scene 3:

Six days later and it’s Sunday. We’re sick and staying home from church. There’s been no communication between me and M&M since Monday night, although Mrs. linville and Melanie have been hanging out more regularly. I had just finished cleaning up after an amazing Sunday morning breakfast and Mrs. linville had just stepped into the shower when the doorbell rang (many of our adventures begin with that doorbell).

Melanie needed to wash a load of laundry so she proceeded to sort while I watched baby linville and Kayla. After a few minutes she came out of the laundry room and called Kayla to go back over to their place. I was curious about how things had been going since our last encounter, so I asked for an update. She hesitated.

While Kayla had stopped having nightmares about Hope, Mekhi had not, and his fears didn’t disappear in the daylight. They haunted him 24/7. I am not clear on the details here, but for whatever reason, Mekhi had come home drunk several times since Monday night. The worst had occurred on just the previous night! Mekhi’s behavior had forced Melanie to seek refuge in their neighbor Wes’ apartment. Mekhi had followed Melanie there and cussed them both out. Although Wes called the cops, Mekhi was fortunate that Wes didn’t press charges for being verbally assaulted and physically threatened in his apartment.

I could hardly believe it. Neither could Melanie. Mekhi was going through something serious, but he was keeping it bottled up inside, only showing the turmoil within when his hindrances were crippled by alcohol. Melanie and Kayla had stayed over at Wes’ apartment for a few hours to let Mekhi sober up. When they returned, Mekhi was weeping and rocking himself in the corner of a dark room listening to sad music and holding a picture of their late baby, Hope. Melanie said she didn’t know what to do so she just knelt next to him and prayed, but he kept interjecting “I don’t want none of that” as she prayed. She asked me if she had done the right thing. I affirmed her decision and explained to her that it’s good that Mekhi recognizes that he doesn’t want God or anything from Him. It’s good because when he looks at his life he will see clearly why God is just in condemning him and why he needs God to save him. She seemed to understand, but it looked like she was ready to change the topic. I switched directions and focused on how she was doing. I shared the gospel with her again, being sure to emphasize her need to cry out to God to be saved and ask Him for faith to trust in Christ to save her. Mrs. linville was quick to shower and dress and continued the conversation with Melanie while I watched baby linville and Kayla, and silently prayed.

Five days later, God answered those prayers.

…To be continued in The Final Act…

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linvilles in Love with m&ms, Act 1

What follows is an on going story. Please read this previous post before continuing if you haven’t already:

The Intro

Act 1

Scene 1:

Some people can break one law and have to pay it for the rest of their lives. Some people can break hundreds of laws everyday and just walk away. Mekhi was the latter. Despite getting caught up in a bad way with a rough crowd, Mekhi was able to keep his record relatively clean; clean enough to get a good job as a correctional officer here in Raleigh, NC.  Now he had a good roof over his family’s head and he was bringing home the bacon with a respectable career. Mekhi was even pleased to meet some neighbors who lived around him and, even though they seemed a little weird, he could tell that they were harmless.

Yes, their new home was definitely nothing like Atlanta, but with everything falling into place, being here just felt right; and then it happened.

Scene 2:

Mrs. linville and I were in a dead sleep when we heard it: a blood curdling cry. I opened my eyes to see red and blue lights flashing against the blinds, but no sirens. Another unrestrained scream. It had to be around 1 or 2am. Another long mournful cry. It was coming from the stairwell right beside us. More crying. I heard the static of a police officer’s radio through the wall. Someone was talking to the woman crying. We didn’t know who it was, but we prayed for her. The sobbing erupted into another vocal chord ripping scream that became a cry which ended in a chocked out moan and within the moan we heard words. Horrible words.

“No, no, noooo, no, no, no…”
“Not my baby, NO! Not my baby!”

Another blood curdling cry.

Scene 3:

We couldn’t get any details until 2 days later when I happened to be out in the hall as Mekhi emerged from his Apartment in a daze. He shared with me what happened in broken sentences and random pauses wherein he seemed to see something invisible far away that would steal his attention. Hope was gone. The police investigation concluded that she passed away from S.I.D.S. (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Mid-Sentence he turned and shuffled out the door, still talking.

After sharing this with Mrs. linville and praying, we began to feel from the Lord a powerful compassion to serve them in whatever capacity we could. We made sure to be at Hope’s funeral to reflect His love.

Scene 4:

We learned later that the ordeal had rocked M&M so violently that it cost them their mental stability for several weeks. Having nothing to turn to they sometimes resorted to drowning their sorrows in booze, a pursuit which almost killed Melanie when, crazed, drunk and distraught, she leapt from their car while Mekhi was driving. Although bruised and bleeding, she survived! Mekhi also suffered from a bad emotional roller coaster that alcohol only made worse, leading him and Melanie into several fights that ended violently, something we were totally unaware of until one fight spilled right into our apartment. That was a rough night. The doorbell rang at around 11pm. Our hearts broke when we saw Melanie, trembling and bleeding out of her left eye with Kayla huddled by her side. Mekhi was close behind, bleeding from his arm and yelling. The tension was almost tangible, but God is always greater. We got them separated and spoke with Melanie. After hearing her side of the story I went and spoke with Mekhi. We labored in prayer for them to know His love.

In the end, Melanie threatened to leave Mekhi. He said the right things to convince her to stay; but try as they might to make things right, an even greater challenge awaited.

…To be continued in Act 2

Categories: linvilles in fellowship, linvilles in giving, linvilles in life, linvilles in prayer | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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