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.

4 comments:

GuyMuse said...

Good post! One of my true heroes is a medical doctor who gave up his lucrative practice here in Ecuador to begin caring for the abandoned elderly that wander the streets of Guayaquil, sick and eating out of garbage cans. He and his wife began taking them home and caring for them. Five years later they have 45 abandoned elderly that they care for in a full-time faith ministry (much like George Muller).

Kristen Hiller, an IMB reporter was here recently and wrote up an article that is to appear in the June issue of THE COMMISSION magazine. She also has written about the Salazars on her blog which I encourage you to read http://kristenhiller.blogspot.com

Keep up the good work with the elderly, and thanks for the reminder that "people matter; things don't."

Gary Snowden said...

Guy,

Thanks for the word on Kristen's blogspot. I did enjoy reading her comments. One of the two ladies that I mentioned as near death went home to be with the Lord yesterday morning. I will be officiating at her funeral on Saturday.

GuyMuse said...

Sorry to leave this as a comment, I was unable to find your email address to send it privately, but I was reading Dorcas Hawkers blog this morning and saw that she has your blog mentioned in her "Reverse Survival" post. Check it out here.

Jeff Richard Young said...

Dear Gary,

Welcome to blogging!

I am thankful for your service as a M, and in the work you are doing now.

Love in Christ,

Jeff