Derek Hurlburt – Subject: Our informal meeting Wed 4PM – Email Jan 18, 2012 [Regarding Krista Slawinski’s death] 

Dear friends, family and co-workers,

The pathologist told the sisters today that Krista’s injuries were so severe that even doctors on the scene immediately would not have been able to save her. Her broken body will be laid aside but her Christ-like spirit and purified soul will live on forever. We are very grateful that her face and head are not injured, allowing for an open-casket service tomorrow here in Santo Domingo at 3PM (Noon Alberta time).

Our dear sisters and two of our friends stood by for 6 hours (8 AM to 2PM) waiting for Krista to be released by the Pathologist and transferred to the funeral home. Last night, they selected some of their own clothes, ironed them up for Krista and gave them to the funeral home. Today, the two suitcases that she had on the bus were also recovered from the bus terminal which is a small miracle. The fire chief gave us Krista’s purse, wallet, phone and driver’s license at the hospital.

She has a simple wooden, light grey casket with silver colored handles. White interior. There will be a flower arrangement with a wide ribbon that will say, “Amada Hermana” (Beloved Sister).

We 9 workers and about 40 friends gathered at Rosita’s home this afternoon at 4PM. Rosita was the first to profess here in 1971. There were a few friends from Nagua and Moca as well. This was an informal memorial meeting. As we sat down in our places, 4 sisters on the left side and us 5 brothers up front, I felt for the first time a very keen absence of Krista. I guess it was because it was the first time we all sat down quietly together since convention. It was like I would look up and see her sitting beside Maritza on the end of their row – intently looking at her Bible.

Glen Yung chose 410- Called Home to Rest. One of the friends chose 64 – Christ For Me. Here it is sung to the tune of Just As I Am. Ruthie Bickford chose 351 – God in Heaven Has a Treasure…saying it was the hymn Krista chose on Sunday in her last meeting. Then Brenda Lang chose Spanish number 6 that speaks about serious moments when we realize life is short and passing, we see the setting sun on the horizon. Then all 9 workers prayed. Then Rosita chose 30 in the Spanish book. It speaks about us as a little boat on the rough seas. But Jesus is the faithful pilot in whom we need to trust. Even though the storm is rough, He can tame it.

Then all 9 workers spoke:

Brenda Lang (Guatemala)- Job 1:12. Mourning with a spirit of worship. “There is a treasure in this experience.”

Benigno Morales (Guatemala) – I Corinthians 15:59. Thorn in death but hope in the grave. Krista’s present is better than ours. Not just ready to battle but finishing the battle. Hope lifts our eyes to heaven. In death there can be a message of life. Often too good of times can cause hard hearts. Rest our pain in Him.

Ruthie Bickford (Maine USA) – I Thessalonians 4:13. Hope abounds in this experience. Don’t be sad like others. We are sad but we are not consumed by it. I Corinthians 15. Death is like sowing. There is joy in it. So obvious that Krista had so much joy. Krista had said many times recently, “We have the best place.” There is joy in hope. She had undeniable joy.

Yocelyn Diaz (Dominican Republic) – Krista spoke to us in lifetime but even more in her death. A guard at the hospital saw Krista being brought in and treated and then later asked about Krista’s life. He said, “She died in the Lord’s peace.” Yocelyn is glad for 6 months she had with Krista before Krista’s home visit. Jesus lost a friend, too. He understands.

Maritza Martinez (Dominican Republic) – Maritza’s first thought was, “She reached the goal.” She lived on the Rock. When she arrived in the DR she had limited Spanish. Maritza was recovering from an operation. Krista read her Psalms 23 saying, “This is to encourage you.” Recently, Krista said so often, “This is the best life! Just think about what we have! (in the work)” She had soft words, soft life. Krista had said in a meeting recently, “We shouldn’t share a message we are not living.” She copied Christ. Krista was often heard softly singing hymns to herself early in the AM in the bach. Last Sunday when she chose 351 she said, “This is what I want to be.” She spoke to encourage. Sometimes she would softly call Ruthie and then Maritza to come to the window. “Come and see the beautiful horizon.” These past 2 weeks the three of us sisters were in Bani together, walking quickly off to meeting, joyfully going along. We must have been a sight! The people would see this elegant young lady walking through the streets. Why don’t they follow us? You think they would be moved to follow us. Krista said our life speaks more than we know. Glad for Krista’s life kept on the altar. She never gave up. The light of Christ was evident in her life.

Erick Losias (Haiti) – We can comfort one another. Christ took away pain. John 11. Around preps in the kitchen or on the grounds, you wouldn’t hear Krista but she was there. Always so quietly present. Here at Convention, Krista spoke about God bringing Abraham out of the tent to look up.

Derek Hurlburt (Alberta) – I Thessalonians 2:7-8. Just like Krista. Not just preaching but willing to give her soul for the friends. A good, balanced combination of courage and tenderness. Often when someone dies we think about when we first met them. Krista and I were both parked out along the lane at Didsbury, Sunday in July 1997. I was miserable and moping because God was calling me into the work. Went out to my car between meetings. Krista did the same. She was two cars over. Got chatting. She knew my cousin Melonie Stinson. Chatted – but not about the work. “Wonder why she’s out here?” A year later we started in the work a month apart. A joy for me. Several years later, she came to the DR. Another great joy for me. We have chuckled about our car-moping days at Didsbury. Oh, what they have led us into. On Tuesday night, as we traveled down to Santo Domingo en route to the hospital, we stopped at the grounds. By then we had spoken to Jim and Merlin. The sisters had identified Krista. Lots of feelings, mind buzzing. We got out of the van and I looked up into the sky and just this thought came clear and quick into my mind, “Heaven has gained. Heaven has won.” Want to even have a portion of the joy that Krista had. MANY have mentioned Krista’s purity in spirit.

Edward Beasley (Ohio) – I don’t have a line-up of verses. We lost our youngest sister. I thought I would be one of the first to go on this present staff. I had 5 conventions with Krista last year and each time she got up on the platform, I thought, “This young lady has the face of an angel.” Someone wrote that Krista reminded them of a servant, others of an angel. Jesus’ mother Mary said, “Hear I am a servant of the Lord…” Surely Mary thought she would die before Jesus. Acts 26. Stephen being stoned. Face of an angel is the absence of the human. I Corinthians 13, you can substitute “Charity” with “Krista.” It fits every time in every verse.

Glen Yung (Nebraska) – I Corinthians 15. This isn’t just about death, it is about a resurrection! verse 50. Revelations – eternal rest. 14:12

Antonia chose 101 – Only One Life.

I certainly felt uplifted by the meeting.

Thanks for all you have sent. We are all very grateful and the Dominican friends send condolences to the family.

Your brother, Derek