In the last week I’ve had to say goodbye to Mary and Jordan, Flynn, and Lina. I hope and expect to see them again, of course. Today we said a final goodbye to our friend Betty Gray, who graduated to Glory last week. We have known Betty and her husband Delbert since 1991, when we first visited their church as missionaries raising support. Betty and Delbert, along with their dear friends Paul and Jean, were the founding members of their church.

That first visit, Betty and Delbert both assured us that they would be praying for us daily from that point forward–as did several other members of the church. And they kept their word. We found ourselves visiting more and more often, and each time various members, including Betty and Delbert, came to remind us that they were praying for us daily. Soon we began attending the church regularly because the folks there were so much more caring than those at the church we’d been attending for many years.

When we were finally getting ready to go to Africa, we packed two crates with all of our most essential household goods to ship to Zambia. The problem was somehow getting the crates to Canada where they could be put on a container. Delbert and Betty offered to drive those crates all the way to Canada for us–at their own expense. When they came back, they thanked us for “letting” them do it!
Both Delbert and Betty were always so kind and gentle and generous. The news that Betty had died saddened both of us. We were glad to be able to go to the memorial service today. All four of Betty’s children were there, along with grandchildren and many other relatives. Virtually all the remaining members of that tiny church were there too.

After the service we stayed to visit with everyone and in fact we were the last to leave! It was so good to see Delbert and his daughters and so many other friends from the years we attended that church.

I am still struggling to recover from this respiratory infection that has hit the whole family so hard. I did need a nap after the funeral and another one later. The big accomplishment of the day was getting most of the Christmas decorations down, including the tree. Whew! Almost everyone pitched in and I was so grateful for the help. Tomorrow I hope we can get everything put away and get our house back to “normal,” whatever that is.

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