February 2024

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Fearless Leader

A dear friend reached out with words I can’t help but share freely with the rest of the world, to bring hope and life from the very ashes of death:

“I saw a huge fallen tree. It reminded me of your father. The tree housed many birds and creatures of all sorts when it stood. When a tree breaks down into the soil, it makes the ground a more fertile, and rich place. How much more does he have to give after his life, to the world and to us?”

“It takes time. Years and years. His tree will give life to others in stages and in different ways each year. And when the breaking down process is complete, it becomes the very ground we stand on. It is so foundational we might even forget. But let’s not forget this precious gift. It’s a different kind of giving. An endless giving.” – Grace Roberts

Another commented with these words, “Your dad’s giving will not feel and seem as real and tangible as it did to us, but irrevocable are the seeds and roots we credit to his works.” – Christina Hatfield

The pictures painted by these words bring comfort and life. For though our massive tree, our fearless leader, has fallen, he is still now bringing life. He has set up those to come after well, bestowing much knowledge and love for the next generation. For while he stood he pointed us to a hope and a future in Christ, a hope that cannot be stolen. Although the grief continues to be raw and deep, we mourn not without hope, but with a hope that says we will meet again. For now, let us continue forward, walking hand in hand with the only true comforter Christ, and seek to carry on the legacy of a man who fought for life and truth, a man whose life and death have brought forth much fruit and will continue to do so day after day.

In one of Dad’s sermons called “Man of Sorrows,” he wrote: “Jesus wept, and in that respect, I found myself very much like our Lord. This intersection of extreme joy and sorrow as we experienced reminds me of the story of Lazarus who was raised from the dead.”

“Standing not far from the tomb of His good friend Lazarus, Jesus wept with Mary and Martha. Knowing in minutes He would call out his name and command him to come forth, he wept nonetheless”.“More intimately acquainted with grief than we can know, he faced death itself. This shadowy reality was real and present to Him as the joyful miracle of resurrection about to dawn on the horizon before Him.”

“It remains true for us. Jesus continues to weep for a dying world through our eyes. As we look with compassion upon a groaning creation, it should bring tears to our eyes even as we boldly wipe them dry so we can work.”And so I echo those very words as we boldly wipe our tears so we may continue to build the kingdom, an eternal kingdom through love and service to others. Honor and humility wash over us as we know the work is far from done, and we are the people God is calling to do His great work here on earth.

With love, Rebekah Robinette

A Servant Good & Faithful

I don’t know where to begin.

I have found myself time and time again, sitting with my hands held over the keys preparing to tell you stories of sorrow and destruction. In years past, I painted worlds outside of my own of burning villages draped in the remnants of ash and called on you to join us in the house of mourning. But today, I tell my family’s story, and I ask you all to join us in the house of mourning as we mourn the loss of our family members.

On January 22nd, 2024, I fought the flames alongside my family as we sought to save as many as we could. I watched my family burn along with everything we owned, crying out to God to save us from the destruction, my hands black with soot, and my feet blistered with burns, my lungs searching for air. Left only with the echoes of screams in my mind, I had to walk away as the house burned completely to the ground, taking the lives of my Daddy, known to you all as Pastor Mark Robinette, along with my little brothers, Gideon and Liam Robinette.

This horror story of death and destruction shattered my very soul, and leaves me broken hearted and in utter shock. To say I have no words would not be completely true. I find my mind spinning with all the things I wish I could say, the moment captured in my mind forever, the smell imprinted, and the feeling left to remind me of that night, to be remembered forever.

But like many reports before, I choose to leave you with the dignity and beauty of life. A life well lived, a servant good and faithful, fallen while seeking to save his beloved children, a heart of a hero, a man who thought not of his own, but of those he loved and risked everything unto death. This last act of bravery spotlighted exactly how he lived, a life fully given to the Lord in service to others.

Those of you who knew my father, knew of his deep love for the people of Myanmar especially his little brother Pastor Naing Thang.

Their love for one another and the spread of the gospel, Kingdom life, and truth was contagious.

A piece of my most recent report brought my dad to tears, “Although the feeling of hope is far from them, like a distant childhood memory, something their own children know nothing of, their Creator has not forgotten them. He has been raising a mighty few who hold tightly to a hope, and a future in Christ, a people who bear the marks of Christ in their bodies. They are not strangers to suffering and hardship, but they wear it well as a testimony of the goodness of God, and the beauty of His Kingdom here on earth. So we build.”

Little did I know how deeply true this statement would be. We truly do know hardship and suffering, bearing the marks of Christ in our bodies.

And so we choose to carry on. There is kingdom to be built, homes to be given, loved ones to save, and children to be fed, and we will carry on this legacy.

I am truly honored to pick up the torch of my father and would like to ask you all to join us as we walk forward, promoting kingdom and life, walking in the promise of our Heavenly Father. This story is far from over. Truthfully, this is just the beginning of something so much bigger than ourselves.

Pray for us and with us, as we seek to cultivate beauty and life in our ministry and carry on the vision that my father held dear.

We stand together, we fight together, and maybe one day we will learn to laugh together once again. But today we mourn together, we weep together. With shattered hearts and broken spirits we are left with no choice but to lean back, or more accurately, collapse within the loving arms of our Heavenly Father with no strength to stand. And as we lay within His arms, we find more and more that He is the only comfort to our souls.

With love,
Rebekah Robinette