And He said, “How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the soil, though it is smaller than all the seeds that are upon the soil, yet when it is sown, it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and forms large branches; so that the birds of the air can nest under its shade.” Mark 4:30-32
“For truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. Matthew 17:20
“Bring mustard seeds with you and plant them at the places He leads you to go,” a friend and co-worker, Wendy Wong, proclaimed to me after hearing from the Lord. “Proclaim God’s Word – His reign, kingdom, blessings, and restoration will reach the cities and countries through your family.”
“I will do it,” I replied immediately. “As we travel and pray through the nations in 2020, we will plant His Kingdom (mustard seeds) wherever we go.”
“Do you realize that this could have been our last video of you?” Olivia reflected suddenly with a tinge of sadness mixed with relief while going through the photos of our past year.
It was a video of the five of us standing tall through the roof of the open-air safari jeep at Nakuru National Park, the day before I came down with severe malaria and almost died. Indeed, the video could easily have been the last video of me made.
“You all experienced trauma!” Liz announced. “That means Dad, Mom, Olivia, Nathan, and Joani all experienced a major traumatic event — Jonathan almost died. Each one of you needs to acknowledge that you are still recovering from the trauma.”
All five of us listened intently over Zoom around the dining table as Liz, our family counselor, shared to us what she has observed.
“When such traumatic event happened, something has changed. One should not expect things will go back to the way it was before,” Liz continued.
Indeed, the past two months had been very difficult for our family. First, it was my sickness. Then Annie hit burnt out from taking care of me. The children suddenly “lost” both their father and mother as they had to focus on getting well and had to suddenly take on many everyday responsibilities.
But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. Isaiah 43:1-2
“Call the doctor. I can’t breathe,” I pleaded with the head nurse in short sentences using the little air that I have left. “Don’t leave. I might die.”
March 2, 2021, 4 PM, Nairobi, Kenya, Aga Khan University Hospital. I was lying on the hospital bed in the general ward with 20 other patients in a large room with Annie by my side. I felt I was close to dying.