KYRA, LA MIA BUONA AMICA

For us left here on earth, we mourn and long for encouragement. We praise our God who mends the broken-hearted. We cry to Jesus to heal our wounded hearts. We cry not in despair, but in hope because we trust Him and His character. We rest that He knows the future—all things. We know that He is good and that He works all things together for His glory. What a testimony she leaves us. God was glorified in Kyra’s life here in Rome and He is being glorified in her death.

kyra

We arrived in Rome just 8 months ago which doesn’t seem like that long of a time to know someone. However, when you bond with someone in such a profound way, time has no measure.

After being married for 12 years and settled in the same place for your whole life and then you pick up your entire life and move with your kids halfway across the world into  the eternal city of 4million people, it’s a pretty big life change to say the least. Thankfully, the Karr family was here waiting for us and from the moment we set foot on Italian soil, they welcomed us as part of their family. Looking back at those first few weeks when we arrived, just days after Christmas, it seems like a whirlwind. We were finding places to stay as our apartment wasn’t ready for us to move into. We were taking care of legal documents and purchasing cell phones and learning that all the errands just take longer to accomplish here in Italy. But, the Karrs made Italy a comforting and welcoming place—home for us. 

We practically lived at their apartment that first month. Kyra would offer daily to watch our small children to allow us to move faster with our tasks we needed to accomplish running around Rome. We would come back for lunch, back out again, then back to their house where she would insist we stay for dinner. Kyra, being a fabulous cook, always cooked something amazing, even if it was simple. And if the dish wasn’t simple, it seemed so because Kyra had a way about her that made everything she did seem effortless. In the chaos of a small apartment full of 5 children under the age of 6 running around and screaming, her and Reid (who were totally calm and collected), and then us 2 who were in culture shock and probably not thinking clearly and in somewhat of a daze, she remained hospitable, caring, and peaceful. Nothing seemed to move Kyra. Even times when she was upset about something, she never appeared angry or out of control with her emotions. She had the composure of Christ. 

We had the opportunity to have deep conversations early on and she instantly was a kindred spirit to me. It is amazing how you bond with someone in such a special way as you do ministry together and unite in your calling. I am so grateful for the time I had with Kyra. In the U.S. I had said goodbye to my best friend, my sister Sherise. And the Lord was beyond gracious to put Kyra in my life. She not only looked like my sister but their personalities were so similar. It was comforting to have a true sister here in my new home and I would tell Kyra this often. 

We also had fun times as she helped me shop for our apartment. We had sold nearly all of our belongings and didn’t come with much, so she was so excited to help me take advantage of the sales that were going on and take me around to all the great, “secret spots” here in Rome for furniture, kitchen items, and such. Not to mention she was teaching me how to use the bus transportation while we went. Our favorite places to go were the Mercatino Usato stores, basically second-hand stores. She helped me get what we needed and helped me make our own place home for us.

She was always giving gifts, too—so italian! She would show up with gifts and an excuse like, “oh, it’s just a house warming gift” buying us hand towels that matched other towels I had bought with her, new toys for the kids, specific items and toys for the kids that would help keep them occupied in our small church service, language books that she thought would be helpful for me to read or for the kids, or even just a box of salt because I had mentioned I couldn’t find a specific kind I was looking for. She was always thoughtful and always thinking of others. 

She was so much fun, too. She could be so silly and sassy, laughing with me about the embarrassing things that happen to you as you are learning a new culture. She encouraged me constantly. She told me what to expect here, how to adjust, and where to go—what to do. Most of all, she encouraged me to seek the Lord. She did this in her actions and her words. “Spending time with Jesus and in His Word is gonna get you through,” she would say. Her words were often simple, yet the truth I needed to hear. She was an amazing mom. Every time I was with her, I was spurred on to be more patient and loving to my children. 

The last couple of days it has seemed that time has stood still. I find myself trying to do daily tasks but everywhere I look in my home or look out in our city I am reminded of her sweet spirit in each action and each place. I walk past items in our apartment that she gave me or that we bought together and my mind reflects on Kyra. How many nights did we stand in her cute, cucina cutting vegetables, cooking, and washing dishes. How many memories of our kids playing and running around as we sit and talk after dinner. How many plans we had for life here. 

With the sound of airplanes over our apartment, I am constantly reminded that she was supposed to come home to Rome this week. But God chose to call her to her eternal home—to the home she told others they could go to if they would only follow Jesus. God had a home prepared and waiting for Kyra. The weight of this world is no longer upon her. Her faith has been made sight. From the second she breathed her last, she has been in the presence of the Almighty God, the One True King. What right do we as mere men have to question Him? She is where we, as believers, long to go. She has finished the race and she ran it well.

For those of us still running, we must run with perseverance with our eyes fixed upon Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith. We must daily ask ourselves and ask others to stop and “consider Him.” Kyra lived a life that considered Christ in each moment and her life continues to challenge us to do the same.

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him…”
— Heb 12:1-3a

Something I keep being reminded of is the Karr’s table. Kyra was a description of genuine hospitality, making the table a place open to all to find needs met. I reflect on so many memories in their home with a beautifully set table full of people united because of Jesus, fellowshipping together over a meal that was satisfying both tummies and spirits. She is now sitting down to the most beautiful and gloriously table she has ever imagined. She is fellowshipping around this new table—the eternal banquet table with the King of Kings. She is home—supping with her Savior, Jesus Christ. 

 

Kyra loved Josh Garrels and I am reminded of his song, Home at Last.


Who is there at the end of lonesome roads?
All of us hope there’s a home 

A place to rest where wounds get dressed, the table’s full 
The sound of laughter in the halls 

Light the fire, gather ‘round 
Join together, sing it loud 
Raise the glass and joyful be 
Home at last, one family 

We’re all orphans looking for an open door 
Hard times come no more 

Come on up to the house of the Lord 
Father adopts us all


For us left here on earth, we mourn and long for encouragement. We praise our God who mends the broken-hearted. We cry to Jesus to heal our wounded hearts. We cry not in despair, but in hope because we trust Him and His character. We rest that He knows the future—all things. We know that He is good and that He works all things together for His glory. What a testimony she leaves us. God was glorified in Kyra’s life here in Rome and He is being glorified in her death. 

We are amazed as we watch Reid’s faith demonstrated. He sets his hope in God. He trusts his Christ and makes his beautiful wife proud. He is living his faith boldly in the midst of this pain. In the midst of all of our pain and sadness, we witness the beauty of seeing the body of Christ come together from all across the world encouraging one another and testifying to the life we have in Christ. Yes, Kyra made an impact on the whole world. Specifically, the evangelical church of Italy, Kyra’s church body, is bonding together in such tender ways. We will yet praise the Lord. In all things we will praise and worship the Lord.

We find comfort in truth from God’s Word. This song by Shane & Shane points us to Jesus—A Song for the Suffering (with John Piper):



I come, God, I come
I return to the Lord
The one who’s broken
The one who’s torn me apart
You strike down to bind me up
You say you do it all in love
That I might know you in your suffering

Though you slay me
Yet I will praise you
Though you take from me
I will bless your name
Though you ruin me
Still I will worship
Sing a song to the one who’s all I need

My heart and flesh may fail
The earth below give way
But with my eyes, with my eyes I’ll see the Lord
Lifted high on that day
Behold, the Lamb that was slain
And I’ll know every tear was worth it all

Though you slay me
Yet I will praise you
Though you take from me
I will bless your name
Though you ruin me
Still I will worship
Sing a song to the one who’s all I need

Though tonight I’m crying out
Let this cup pass from me now
You’re still more than I need
You’re enough for me
You’re enough for me


I open my Bible and find the bookmark that Kyra has made with this Bible verse written on it: 

“My purpose in writing is to encourage you and assure you that what you are experiencing is truly part of God’s grace for you. Stand firm in this grace.”
— 1 Peter 5:12

I am reminded that:

“But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor thins present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
— Romans 8:37-39

“Kyra, ti voglio bene, la mia dolce sorella.”
Sommer

Author: Our Life in the Boot

This space is where we share our family's adventures in Rome. We love family, travel, great food, and the simple joys of life that God gives us. ourlifeintheboot.com

10 thoughts on “KYRA, LA MIA BUONA AMICA”

  1. Such a great tribute to a wonderful lady I wasnt so privileged to know. May peace and comfort continue to surround all who are grieving her loss.

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  2. What an amazing tribute to a live well lived. Be strong truly OUR AWESOME GOD does not waste pain. We may never understand on this side.. but we must not judge God. He is good all the time.

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  3. Sommer thank you for sharing your heart. What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman of God. My heart breaks for you and the MANY who have been changed because of Kyra’s love. ((Hugs))

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  4. Thank you for this. I am a friend of Reid’s from college, but our family serves as missionaries in Prague, CZ. I’ve been thinking, since I heard Kyra’s news, about her team in Rome, how deeply impacted you all would, how you know the Karrs in a different way than anyone else in Georgia. How close they were to their return date, etc. We will be praying for yall as you grieve your teammate & sister in Christ. Thanks again. (–Melissa Hunt… on my husband’s computer!)

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  5. Thank you so much for this story to help others know Kyra. Reid’s father Philip Karr married my husband and I 30 years ago as he was an old friend of their family. I still think of him and the wonderful witness he was for the Lord. What a legacy Phillip and Kyra both leave behind. I think of them both often and know how many people are better off having known them.

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