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Monday Musings – 28/02/11

Time has told…

Last week I ended my blog with these words…”Can all of the above be accomplished?  Time will tell”.

How ironic that one day after writing these words, time almost stood still. “Time will tell” has turned into “time has told”, as on Tuesday February 22, 2011 at about 3 p.m. (Zambian time), Rob Hall, a fellow global worker, lost his life on the third floor of the prayer tower at TTC.  Man (Mann) may try to take time into his own hands, but God’s timing will ultimately prevail.

Rob, his beautiful wife Kate and their three children, Kathryn, Simeon and Cameron, came to TTC in October of last year.  He came with a vision to teach the vulnerable and poor of Zambia how to use agriculture as a means of sustainability.

Recently, over a cappuccino, Rob and I exchanged visions and began to discuss how our visions could compliment one another’s work.  He volunteered his framing skills to help me do some structural work on the roof of the prayer tower.  Last Tuesday, at noon, he made his way to the third floor to begin the work and there ended his mission on Zambian soil, as the result of a freak construction accident.

I was driving back from a Pastor’s meeting, in Kabwe, when my cell phone rang and I received the news of Rob’s death.  My first thought was “Oh God, please may his death have not happened on the third floor”!  Psalm 73:20 uses the words “As a dream when one awakes” except this was no dream.  The reality was that Rob lost his life while volunteering to help RTC prepare for its inaugural seminar on March 3rd.

My pain ran deep for Kate and her three beautiful children and my pain ran deep that this had happened on my watch.  If only Rob had died in the fields, where his heart was, but why on the third floor of the future leadership centre???

Although a person will never have all the answers to these questions, some healing came to me last Thursday as the student body and members of the community that had been enriched by Rob’s life, packed out the college chapel for a memorial service.  Speaker after speaker said the same thing, that Rob’s life would not go wasted.  The death of his seed would bear much fruit.

In the middle of the night, just hours before the memorial service, I was awakened with thoughts so vivid that I had to write them down.  I had the privilege of sharing those thoughts at the memorial service.

“Rob Hall planted seed in the soil here on the grounds at TTC, and he also planted hope in the hearts of men and women for a preferred future…Suddenly, he has been uprooted from amongst us…His short time with us will have a long lasting impact!!!!”

Then I thought of March 31, 2010, when I was on the third floor, the same place where Rob died.  It was at that time that a vision was planted in my heart from John 1.  Phillip invited Nathanael to come and follow Jesus of Nazareth as a disciple.  Nathanael responded:  “Nazareth, can anything good come from there?”  Phillip responded:  “Come and see”.  That day in 2010, my heart was gripped with those words and I asked myself, “can anything good come out of Kitwe”.  The compelling response that came to my heart from that question was “come and see”!!!

So I ask myself today, “Can anything good come out of this tragedy”?  Rob’s blood literally flowed down the walls of the prayer tower from that third floor, and I choose to believe that the impact of his shed blood will reach far beyond the walls of TTC, impacting the Continent of Africa, perhaps even the world. 

You may also recall me saying this in my blog last week: “My prayer would be that from the highest point of the TTC campus, RTC would have the privilege of influencing the church to the farthest points of the Continent of Africa”!!!!  Little did I know the impact that those words would have 24 hours later.

I close with this Zambian proverb that was shared with me the morning of the memorial service – “people die…people remain”.  It is the passionate prayer of my heart that as Rob Hall died doing what he loved most and being where he wanted to be (on African soil), that those of us who remain will determine to see that what he started  will live on and have incredible Kingdom impact.

Construction has been postponed momentarily, but the seminars will continue as planned starting this Thursday.  It is my prayer that people will come and see that indeed something good, something very good will come out of Kitwe!!!

A website has been set up in honour of Rob by his brother-in-law, Todd Cantelon.  Please take time to visit it at www.danielroberthall.net

Until next Monday…


Still taking risks for Kingdom impact!!!!!!!


  • Missionary Peter Saliku

    February 28, 2011

    Great Sacrifice! I join you in PRAYING for Kate and the children. That God will visit them in this time of pain, AMEN!

  • Gary & Gwen

    February 28, 2011

    With you both in our prayers and our thoughts.

  • jon & laurie

    February 28, 2011

    Rob’s website blog (http://www.withkidsintow.blogspot.com/) has a blog from February 7, 2011. He ends the days blog with the following statement:
    “Lean into the things in front of you and there you will find God’s Kingdom.”
    Thanks Rob.

  • davied

    February 28, 2011

    Dear Pastor Mann,
    It was a shock to me when i heard last sunday morning in Evangel about MJ and the death of a person,that i understood it was you but Pastor Smith clarified and explained.Unfortunately a man died.God has all the plan of each of us in His hands and when the time comes,we can not do anything but accept His plan.Sometimes, when a person die he has more impact that if it was alive and i am sure that young man had an impact on others when he was on earth.We will pray for the family that God will provide for everything they need.Alain.

  • DiAnne L Dupont

    February 28, 2011

    Praying for Rob’s family and you as to have to continue in spite of pain.
    Keep looking up, for He has not complete His work.

    Je suis très touchée par cette circonstance. Je sais que le St Esprit sait comment toucher le Père même dans nos soupirs les plus indescriptibles.
    When you preached your message, est-ce qu’il peut sortir quelque chose de bon de … Beresford… J’étais en Indes avec Sandra Gill.
    We do not understand everything, but we have peace that God knows…


    DiAnne L Dupont, Beresford, NB

  • Viano & Luciana Oghenekevwe

    February 28, 2011

    We were so saddened by the news but our Sovereign God understands even though we may have questions. We pray for Rob’s young family and trust God that his very short life will bring impacts beyond the borders of Zambia

  • David Maye

    February 28, 2011

    HI Don and Josee, sorry to hear of your friends accident. I was thinking of you Don when you recieved the news of your parents accident while attending EPBC. Our hearts and prayers go out to Robs family and friends. A very difficult time for his wife and children. Always assuring to know still of the Hope we have as believers. We will be praying for your safety Don as well as your wife and all the workers with you. Rob died doing the will of God. I hope that gives his family some comfort.
    David Maye..Montreal

  • Innocent and Alisino

    February 28, 2011

    Hi Pastor Mann,

    It was indeed with great sorrow to read about the sad news of a dear brother in the Lord’s passing away..We can just be comforted by the word of God that says “The sufferings of this world are nothing compared to the glory that will soon be revealed to us”. We are with you and Rob’s family in prayer.We believe that what was meant for evil God will turn for good. Yes we take pride in that he died serving the Lord and His people.
    Innocent and Alisino…….Calgary

  • cecil sirjoosingh

    March 1, 2011

    A very heart wrenching encounter indeed Eph 5;20 tells us, to be thankful for all things. I am reminded of a time at a hindu prayer ritual for the releasing of the soul of a loved one to God. Where I was asked to say a few words. Being one of two christian among scores of hindus, I prayed Lord please give me the words to say. After saying a few greeting, I was completely lost for what else to say. In an instant God planted these words as they echoed from the sound of my voice; “Remember that God lends our loved ones to us, and there comes a time when He wants them back. It is ok to grieve for the loss, but its most important for us to remember the benefits we have had from the loan which God had given to us.” I pray for the remaining. Family members and may God enrich their lives with all the future benefits that God has in store. God be with you.

  • Lennox.s.Dwarka

    March 1, 2011

    HI Pastor Don & MJ,
    we’re saddened by the circumstances of his death, and the loss to his family and friends.
    We are Praying for them, and you and MJ also.

    GOD BE with U & MJ

  • Carol hamlet

    March 3, 2011

    Pastor Mann & MJ,
    my Heart goes out to this Family and friends of yours, I will be praying
    for them and for you both, May God comfort them through this painfull time.Always luv CAROL.

  • Lillian Cornelius Warkentin

    March 5, 2011

    Dear Don and Marie-Jose:

    My heart aches for you as you ‘remain’ -I like that proverb… ‘some remain’, The Prayer Tower is also going to be a Power Tower.

    I think I know how you feel and probably how John and Ruth feel also… so close to the tragedy and far from what’s happening now. I’m also going to copy this to an email in case you don’t see it. Actually it’s first time I’ve seen this website.

    I have often thought how amazing that you decided to centre your ministry out of Kitwe which is not the most wonderful place in the world to live… not after MONTREAL!

    When I heard you speak at Pan Africa Christian College I thought that your ministry, mature and practical, is exactly what is needed in Africa, and I admire you both. Marie-Jose also has such a powerful ministry and impact on those she touches.

    As I look at Rob’s website and all that they are planning, I can see the seeds of something great in the future… and not one seed put in the ground in the agricultural project will go to waste, but both the material and the spiritual will grow together. You make a great team there.

    We are going to the funeral tomorrow and I know you will be in touch on Skype and other means and will get all the details. But I just want to say that Peter and I feel your pain and concern as you console the Zambian churches in this loss.

    We love you.

    Please, Don I’m not very good at going into Websites (there are so many) unless I get an email saying you have updated. Those are the best. So if you have an email you send out with your news please put me on the list. My email address is corneliuslil@rogers.com

    Our prayers are with you,

    Lillian (Cornelius) and Peter Warkentin


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