Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Ministry to the dying
One of my main responsibilities as associate pastor of our church is working with a wonderful group of senior adults in our congregation. They are one of the finest bunch of folks you could ever hope to meet. Many are a part of the builder generation that helped shape our country during and immediately following WWII. I view this group with a tremendous amount of respect for their unselfish contributions to our nation and our church. It's tough to bid farewell to them when the Lord promotes them by calling them into His presence, but that's a part of life and ministry with this age group. One of the men I've been visiting at the care center for almost 3 years now passed away this morning. He flew more than 50 missions as a bomber pilot in the European Theater of Operations in WWII. He was an outstanding deacon in our church and a Sunday School department director before his health began failing a number of years ago. His legacy is evident in his 2 surviving children (having lost a son in Vietnam). The daughter began a ministry of clowning in the care center to encourage the residents there and his son will be returning this summer to Belarus on a mission trip after having experienced the Lord's blessings on his ministry there last year. Two other dear saintly women are lingering near heaven's door today as well. I had a great visit with them both this morning and was moved by one's declaration that "things don't matter; people matter." That's a message we all need to heed.