April 18, 2012

Tribute to a Fallen Hero

Visiting in 2010. I love
the sunlight on Julie's face.  :)
This morning, two very special missionaries went to be with the Lord.  You may remember my friend Julie from these posts: meeting them in person, a motorcycle projectvisiting their home again, and again recently.  Her blog, Passion for Paraguay, was one of the first I began reading 4 years ago, when we found out we’d be coming to live in Paraguay.  Not too long after arriving, we got in contact, and her wisdom, encouragement, and advice have been invaluable to me. 

Julie was a “been there, done that” sort of woman who, although a few years younger than me, was able to teach me the way of the missionary wife and mother from her years of experience in the field.  She’s the hero who withstood a break-in robbery while she and her son were alone in the house early one morning.  Here's an excerpt of her post 
He started tying up my feet and my hands. While he was tying me I felt the need to pray for this man.

I prayed out loud in Spanish:
“Lord, please help this man. Give him a good job so he doesn’t rob anymore. Bless his wife and kids and keep them in health. Prosper him and help him to change his ways. Touch him and speak to him Lord in your name I pray. Amen”
He paused as I prayed and then continued to gag me with plastic and tied cloth over my eyes. The whole time I continued to pray silently for protection over Timmy, who was only a few feet from me and who did not wake up the entire time.



She loved her husband and son in an uncommonly deep way.  They wanted to have more children, but they weren't able to conceive after the birth of their son Timmy.  As they began to research, God worked on their heart and she fell in love with the idea of adoption.  They became advocates for opening hearts and homes for children in need of a family, and just recently adopted Anahi, a precious little girl who was almost a year old when she came to them.  To say that Julie was enamored with this little princess would be a huge understatement.  The family was just thrilled.  Not surprisingly, Julie was able to witness to the judge and share the Lord with her.  She always found ways to do that.  

Julie, Amy McKissick, and me, at the Women of the Harvest
retreat in October, 2011.  We were so excited to find out we
were in the same small group and could spend the
weekend  catching up and cuttin' up!
We just spent a few days with them in January, where we were able to see their recently completed home.  Julie’s mom was there for a visit of about a month, and our friend Ruth was visiting from the U.S.  She’d gotten to know Julie from her blog, too.  Timmy, Anahi, and their dad Norberto took us on a hike to the pond next door, and we enjoyed watching Timmy play fetch with their lumbering, wet dog.  He was “all boy,” getting muddy and exploring the trees and explaining every little thing to us. 

We enjoyed the time with them, as always, and I marveled at how Julie managed to find silver lining in everything, and how she never ended a chat on a negative topic.  She found some way to point out that God is ultimately in control and He’s capable and faithful.   We remarked again at what a lovely family they were, with so much obvious love and acceptance in their home.

This morning, they got an early start on a trip to the capital to work on paperwork for their upcoming visit to the U.S.  An hour or so later, an accident on the road instantly provided passage for Julie to be with her beloved Savior.  A short time later, Timmy joined her, according to news reports, in the arms of his daddy when he passed away.  Norberto and little Anahi (one and a half years old now) were hospitalized. 

As much as I get excited to think of Julie and Timmy exploring Heaven together, dancing with the Lord they loved so much on Earth, I can’t imagine the grief of her husband and their little girl.  Julie was a unique gal, full of life and laughs and wisdom.  She loved Paraguay, she fit in here so well.  She was definitely doing what God created her to do, and she just glowed ministering to her family and her community.  She and our little buddy Timmy will be missed.

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;  and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"
 John 11:25-26

29 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for your beautiful words. I went to college with Julie and Norberto and she was just as you say. Praying for Noberto as he walks through the valley and praying for the rest of you that we so close to them.

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  2. Wow. Praying for this family and for you guys too. ((hugs))

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  3. Thank you for your post! I knew Julie and Norberto for a short time while at Anderson and I too admired Julie's strength and conviction. I have had a very difficult time considering this world without Julie, and her son, Timmy. And I can not yet imagine what Norberto's world will be should he live.
    I remember a time at Anderson U when Julie, already a tremendous spiritual leader on campus, stood up to pray in chapel. Prayers in chapel typically had a very lofty tone with careful consideration of words taken. This time, when Julie stood up to pray, she prayed this, "God, thank you for your love." And she walked away. It was a beautiful prayer and a tremendous moment of worship. The chapel of some 900 students sat quietly considering the depth of that phrase, the depth of that reality. Thank you for sharing this post and hearing my reflection. Dios te bendiga y te proteja! Gracias. Adam Davis

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  4. Hi guys- I'm not sure we've met yet. I'm a friend of Randy Bennett, who posted a link to your blog just a few minutes ago about Julie & Timmy (whom I'm not sure I've actually met, either).

    I just wanted to say thank you for your UNBELIEVABLY beautiful reflection on Julie & Timmy. What a lasting & honorable impact their family has made on yours- which is continuing to spin out of control (in an AWESOME KIngdom way).

    Praying for your family, as I am for the Kurrles. Keep fighting the good fight!

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  5. Thank you for acknowledging the Kurrles. Julie was a deep and thoughtful godly woman. Timmy was the sweetest little boy. Praise God we will see them again in heaven.

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  6. I went to college with Noberto and Julie. Julie was one of the nicest sweetest people I have ever met. I have not seen them in many years but have good memories. Many prayers being sent!

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  7. I lived with Julie for a year in college and we have kept in touch as we both share a passion for Latin america (my husband and I are serving in Mexico) and for adoption (I have 15 adopted children). I cannto fathom the world without Julie and Timmy (always thought that Timmy and my little Ruth would make a great couple some day:-) -two little blondies in Latin America. Norberto, words cannot express....may Jesus be real!

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  8. This just makes me so sad, she was a beautiful woman.

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  9. Wow...I cried as I read your beautiful tribute to our good friend, Julie. She was an amazing woman of God and will definitely be missed.

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  10. What a beautiful testament of Julie as a wife and mother and woman of God!

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  11. I'm thankful you wrote this account of your special relationship with Julie. May God comfort each of you and hold you very close.

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  12. Snezana IsjanovskaApril 18, 2012 at 10:41 PM

    Today I lost a sincere friend and her sun in Paraguay.Julie was my spiritual advisor. I met her this summer in February for the first time. I feel a big loss and I'm very happy sad.It's like I have not one part of me. Timmy, lovely 6 years old boy with a face like an angel, always happy; he just started first grade at school. Everybody were so proud with him.
    Because of everything that they in their life and because of the way how they lived I'm sure they are with GOD now. Now GOD has two more angels in the haven. I pray for Julie and Timothy to find salvation of their soul where they went and for Norberto and Anahi to confront with this tragedy.

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  13. What a beautiful tribute. Thank you for posting this. We are all praying for Norberto and Anahi.

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  14. Thank you for sharing this. I had not read the story of Julie's being robbed before. That sounds so like her. I can picture her praying for the one robbing her instead of thinking of herself. She was an amazing woman and incredible friend. I still can't believe she's gone.

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  15. Julie - We'll all see you again... and that's all I can hold on to today. What a beautiful, pure soul. I may run out of tears, but I'll keep crying anyway. I'm in awe of your life, and so embarrassed of my own. Dear Jesus, please change me. Please hold Norberto close.

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  16. What a sweet tribute. I'm so sorry for your loss.

    Jen
    Missionary wife and mum in Australia's Outback

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  17. This is a beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman of God, wife,mother, pastor, missionary and friend. We feel priviledged to have met her and spent time with here here on earth and know that one day we WILL see her again and ALL things will be made clear. Praying for Norberto and Anahi - Gods amazing grace and loving comfort !!! - Jamie and Marion CDE.

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  18. What a beautiful tribute to a woman of God! We are new to the MVI family, serving in Guatemala, and we didn't get the chance to meet the Kurrles. We did meet Julie's brother, and the love of God shines through him as well. Julie and Timmy's passing has left a huge hole in many hearts. Thank you!

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  19. Thank you so much for getting this out there and for making such a beautiful tribute to such a beautiful sister in Christ... what a treasure she was in Brazil... what a witness for our Savior Jesus !

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  20. Thank you for such a beautiful tribute to such a beautiful sister in Christ... our time in Brazil was so special... although I am in tears , i can picture our time of worship together in song and rejoice that she is now TRUELY at the feet of our Lord...singing her heart out ~

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  21. This is such a beautiful tribute... thank you so much for letting us all know and allowing us to pray for you and for Julie's family. Brazil was such a special time of meeting so many people selflessly serving the Lord in so many places, and having the privilege of praising the Lord together. May all of you in that community feel God's peace and love as you miss Julie's presence.

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  22. Thank you for sharing this tribute to such a beautiful family. We stand next to you in grief and celebration.

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  23. This family's story of selfless dedication to the needs of others will now become a worldwide tribute and witness of the power of total surrender to the Will of God as it is shared through the MVI family abroad. To add to this witness I am sharing them with my entire address book and to God Be the Glory Forever and Ever!! Dale Sawyer, Orlando, Florida US

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  24. We appreciate you sharing this tribute to Julie and Timmy. We are thankful for both for inspiring and challenging us in the past and today through their dynamic and happy lives and example.

    We continue praying for Norberto and Anahi.

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  25. Well written and beautiful tribute although words are so inadequate at a time like this. We had exchanged emails with Julie and Norberto in the past and enjoyed their blog and sharing of their experiences and ministry. They are certainly in our prayers, and memories...
    Brad and Naly Bishop

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  26. What a beautiful family- I am deeply sorry for your loss and will be praying especially for her husband and daughter. May the Lord provide comfort and strength. The Earth was blessed with 2 angels for a short time- I'm sure both of them have made a lasting impact.

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  27. I am so sorry to hear about this accident. We will keep Norberto and Anahi in prayer. Thank you so much for keeping us posted.

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  28. Thank you Christie for this beautiful post. What a tragedy and such a difficult time. We are thankful to the Lord for His hope of salvation and also for the time Julie and Timmy had here on Earth. I never met them but also had been reading her blog for some time. I prayed for her while she was waiting for the adoption and now I'll continue praying for her husband and little Anahi. We'll be praying for you folks too. Take care and God bless! Hugs.

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  29. what a beautiful post for a beautiful person...you are the reason Julia and I ever met...

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