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Ann's Family

Mike's Testimony | LaNell's Testimony

Mike's Testimony

On the 5th of July our daughter Ann was taken from us suddenly in a horse riding accident. While it has been a life changing experience in so many ways one event has been especially significant to me, her father. I saw my daughter standing before the gate to Heaven.

Ann’s accident occurred around 10 o’clock at night, she was life flighted to Sioux City’s mercy medical center. LaNell and I raced to the hospital; Ann went ahead in the helicopter. I don’t think we stopped praying for one second. Unfortunately upon our arrival we were told that nothing could be done, she was gone. Scripture tells us that when Christ died on the cross that the sun was blotted out, the earth shook, mountain tops crumbled, and the temple tapestry was torn from top to bottom. I can tell you that the pain we felt was so intense that if I had the power of God I would have shook the earth and blocked out the sun. But in the midst of our sorrow is when God took action. We had been there about and hour and LaNell was holding Ann while I stood next to her. It was then I saw my daughter looking at me, not in the emergency room but standing before the gate to Heaven. I was looking at her and she was looking at me, then it was gone.

At the time I know I really didn’t grasp what had happened, I was in pain. I looked back down at my daughter’s body and my wife grieving over her, still having trouble believing this was really happening. We stayed for about another hour and when we finally accepted that we had to leave and go home, there was nothing we could do, and we had to go home. We were saying our goodbye when I saw her one more time. She was standing there again in front of the gate, she was looking at me and I at her, and then she turned to go in. I saw no more.

It’s important you know she wasn’t sad, crying, or upset she was okay, she wasn’t trying to come back. She was made perfect, beautiful, elegant, and peaceful. She was excited about where she was with a look on her face of “dad, I know where I am.” She was home.

At first I thought I saw her because God was comforting me and my wife, I think that is part of it. The whole reason is that God wanted me to testify to you about it as well. All of us, believers and nonbelievers, doubt God’s existence at some time. Did Jesus really rise again? Does heaven really exist? Is it real? This is my testimony. Heaven is real. God is real. We will rise again. This is the truth.

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LaNell's Testimony

Ann Lydia Kumm, daughter who is loved and missed so very much. Oldest of four, two younger sisters, Krissy and Brooke, and one little mischievous brother, Henry. Ann was taken from us and went to be with Jesus on July 5th, 2008. She was 11 years old. Ann was a cowgirl, if you define the words “Christian Cowgirl,’ she was it. She loved her Jesus, family, horses, and books. In that order.

Ann was a girl who loved a challenge. She was always striving to do her best at whatever task she took on. She loved to read. She would get grounded from reading when her chores weren’t done. One time at a rodeo, my mom actually had to tell her to “put that book down and take care of that horse.” Ann was a very intelligent girl. In the fourth grade she was reading at a 12th grade level. My mom always asked where do you go from there? She loved 4-H. She was active in so many different things. She enjoyed the fashion show, and the sewing. She competed in speech, food reviews and presentations. She tried cooking, baby sitting projects, photography, woodworking, science and electricity projects. Ann also enjoyed music. She was in the Sing Around Nebraska, and was becoming an accomplished piano and guitar player. She enjoyed the challenge of Amana’s and memorizing scripture. Her favorite summer time adventure was Rodeo Bible camp. There she was surrounded by her heart's desires: horses, the Lord and cleaning out stalls. She memorized 37 Bible verses in three days. She loved horse shows and rodeoing. A special young cowgirl, Courtney, came into our lives a few years ago and taught Ann everything she knew about rodeoing. She taught Ann what it meant to be a cowgirl. We know Ann is in Heaven having a blast with those horses and looking forward to the day when we can all join her in heaven for the biggest rodeo you could ever image.

Ann died after the last game at a horse show. She had finished the day with great success. A friend of hers asked Ann if she could have a ride, and Ann said “sure.” It was late, dark, and as the girls were riding over to our trailer, they passed a parked trailer in a dark corner of a crowded area. The horse’s head bumped into a back end of the trailer. This caused the horse to lose its balance and stumble. Ann was trying to hang onto the other girl; the momentum took Ann and the horse back. The horse reared up and topped over. Ann’s head hit the ground. I know Jesus came and took her before she hit the ground.

We miss her. I miss the jingle of her spurs across the kitchen floor. I miss her coming in and saying the silliest things and then bouncing right back outside. I miss her sitting in our big blue chair for hours getting lost in a book. Dad misses their conversations about space, science and her views on current events. Krissy misses her big sister, and her riding buddy. Brooke misses the way Ann would take the time to teach her things, and read books to her. Henry, I am not sure he misses her that much, he sure giggles a lot to himself, and I think Ann comes and plays with him often.

As for how we are all dealing with the sadness of missing Ann. Our God is an awesome God. He promised to those who trust in him, he will not disappoint. (Romans 9:33) As each day passes, we say, “we are one day closer to Heaven.” None us know for sure how long we have to be here without her, but we know these days won’t last forever. There is so much more waiting for us. God promises us a place where there is no sorrow, no pain, and no goodbyes. We have been to the grief classes, and they talk about a ‘new normal,’ and yes, we have a ‘new normal’. We don’t really like it, but this is the reality. Our precious daughter is not with us, right now. Some day, and I feel like it’s not that far away, we will be together forever.

At the time of Ann’s death, there was a book God put in our lives. It is called 90 minutes in Heaven. The day of Ann’s death, she finished reading it. Ten days after her accident we were standing in a stadium of 1,000 people listening to his man who has died and gone to Heaven. God sent him back so he could share with us some of the glory we have waiting for us. Mike and I got to spend about 10 minutes with him, face to face. It was just the three of us. There was such a peace about him. He said we are real, so much more alive in Heaven than we are here. He told us, “The separation is real, but temporary.” How excited I was to know that. Ann knows we are coming. God is so good to us. He said, “I've got her, now finish my work.” Three days after the accident God spoke to me. He said “trust me.” It wasn’t a word of comfort, it was a command. I trust him with the pain. In our loss and in our pain, our faith lies in the truth. Jesus is the way, the truth and life. I thank God that Ann knew Jesus as her Savior. There is no doubt where she is.

I pray in her earthly life’s story that you will see that no one knows when they will be called to leave. Will you be ready to face the Lord? The bible says “EVERY knee shall bow.” It doesn’t say some will bow, it says EVERY KNEE shall bow. We are given a chance here to make a choice. What choice are you going to make? Ann didn’t have time to think about it at the end. Jesus took her before she knew what had happened. But, she was prepared to meet the Savior she loves and knows. Death is a door. Which side are you going to come out on? Heaven or Hell? The bible says, “NO ONE comes to the Father except through me.” You have to have Jesus to get to Heaven. There are NO other ways around it. There is only one way.

There is so much more to write about Ann. How can a mom ever say enough? I guess you will have to go to Heaven and meet her for yourself. She will take you on the ride of your life. Be ready to saddle up and blaze the trail that will be the biggest adventure you can possibly imagine- in Heaven.

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