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Reflecting on my mom!

19 years ago, in the spring of 2004, we were praying about the possibility of leaving the ministry that I had served fruitfully over the last five years in Twining Michigan. There were two churches that were interested and in fact, both churches had invited me to come and speak at their church the same week. One was a church outside of Detroit and the other was a church in Piscataway, New Jersey. One of the decisive factors in accepting the invitation from New Durham Chapel was the close proximity to my mom and dad down in Hamilton and Deb’s parents in the same area. It was in fact probably the deciding factor in accepting the invitation to candidate at NDC, our desire to be closer to our parents, so that we could be there for them should their health decline.

When my dad passed away in December 2008 that left me as the primary supporter for my mom. My sister lived in Texas and my brother lived in Tennessee, neither of which are very handy to help with mom’s needs. But mom was able to get around quite easily by herself, as long as she was able to drive. In the preceding years, mom would have an assortment of physical ailments and problems. I’m still very thankful to God for the privilege that God gave me of being here for her and caring for her in my fulfillment of the 5th commandment which reads, “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the earth which the Lord your God is giving,” (Ex. 20:12 NKJV)

When we began our ministry here at NDC my mom and dad were so delighted to have us nearby. In fact, I remember at my installation service in October 2004 my dad went around after the service and collected all the bulletins that have been left behind to give to his friends. He was so proud to have us here. Mom and dad came regularly to church for several years until dad’s colon cancer (2008) made it impossible for him to do so. After dad died it was more challenging for mom to come up, as she would frequently lose her way and miss the 287 connection, off the turnpike, which many people do. When we moved mom up to Clara Barton in April 2019, she was then able to again resume attending church on a regular basis until covid, which greatly disrupted everything. But I’m very thankful for the many years of delightful times that we had to share with her, and I trust that she is rejoicing in the arms of her Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

One of the amazing gifts of being a Christ follower is the hope that we have of eternal life for our loved ones who have put their faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. We’ve had some amazing times with my mom, as she would regularly come up for the Easter cantata and Christmas programs. We were able to celebrate several birthdays together and I’m thankful for each moment in time God has given me to be with my mom. Mother’s day will surely be strange for both Deb and me this year. I’m especially grateful for my last visit with her last Friday evening where I was able to communicate to her how proud I was to be her son and what a great mom, grandma, and great grandma she was. I feel that she left this life and is resting in the arms of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Because of Jesus,

Pastor Rich

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