Monday, July 16, 2012

Even the Skies Cry

By Nicholas Haigler

As most of you are now aware, last week our community endured a very tragic event. During remodeling of our old space, a roof collapsed, killing Volunteer in Mission David Nevotti and one of our students, Illya Onoprienko. Also David Goran, my supervisor, was injured. Read the story.

It is a very sad time here, and the healing process has just barely started. While the loss of anyone is tragic, and all my prayers go to our team that was here, and the family and friends of David, the death of Illya has really struck a blow to me; he was more than just one of our students.

Illya was on our leadership team this year as our worship coordinator. He was at every event that he could be. But even more than that, he was one of my best friends and roommates. He was someone who was truly alive and never wasted a second of his life: he loved and he cared.

For General Conference this year, we were asked to make a short video about the student center and our involvement here as Mission Interns. We wanted to focus on a student and chose Illya, and through the video he really shows who he is. Please take a moment to watch it.

What more can I say? There is a saying here that if you can't talk good about the dead, then do not talk at all. I can talk all day long about this brother of mine.

I know many of you are concerned for me. I am doing okay. I am grateful for every day I am alive. I am thankful for peace and the knowledge that my brother did not suffer. I am thankful for a wonderful support system around the world.

The title of this blog comes from Thursday. It was on Thursday that the funeral was held. We were not sure if we would be accepted there, but we were. Our community was asked to share a song, and then I was asked to carry the casket to his mother's house before it would be taken to the cemetery. I didn't get to, though, because I was too short, but it was okay.

The weather here is always switching, but for the last two weeks we have had hot, sunny weather. On Thursday it rained. Not a steady rain but a rain that fell like tears. At times it would rain hard and for a longer amount of time, then it would stop and there would be a light drizzle. It felt like everything I was feeling was being expressed by the sky.

Sunday we still had church, and we will continue with pilgrims as well.

Please keep David and his family in your prayers as he is recovering. Also please pray for our community as we begin to heal and grow.

Blog: Ukrainian Experience

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