Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Mom's story; the end (and just the beginning)

In 1971, my parents made the decision to leave Japan and come for an extended furlough to the United States.  Pretty Prairie First Mennonite Church was looking for a pastor and Dad accepted the call.  I was so sad to leave Japan.  I begged Mom to let me stay, but she said it was God's will and direction.  I was pretty ticked at God to say the least.....until I met a cute boy at Pretty Prairie who ended up becoming my husband!!  And also, at this church, I surrended my will for God's plan for me!!  (of course, that surrender is an ongoing one too!)

I love this old photo.  It is sad really, that the remodel of this church was on the front.  I love that old church design!!  We called this church the chocolate cake church when we were young.  See the 2 sets of stairs?  My grandparents told me that the young fellas would come out one door after youth group and the young ladies out of the other and they would make google eyes at eachother!


After 7 years, when all of us had left the nest, my parents returned to Japan to serve the Hyuga church from 1978 - 1986.  They were involved in preaching, teaching, visitation, English classes, outreach evangelism, women’s meetings and Sunday school work.

 In 1991 Mom and Dad returned to the United States to retire from the mission field.   They moved to Kidron Retirement Center.

But truly, they did not retire.  They became an interim pastoral couple and pastored 5 different churches; First Mennonite in Berne, Indiana, Turpin Mennonite in Turpin, OK, Hebron Mennonite in Buhler, KS, First Mennonite in Hillsboro,KS,  Salem Mennonite in Freeman, SD.

In 1994 they were asked to consider being hosts for the Anabaptist Center and guesthouse in Tokyo for one year while the current COM workers were gone.  They joyfully returned to Japan to serve in this capacity.  Hospitality was Mom’s middle name!

When they returned to America, they continued to serve in many ways.  On the Kidron campus…

and also at Et Cetera and at their church, Shalom Mennonnite.

Of course, Mom's children and grandchildren and great grandchildren brought much joy and happiness to her and Dad.

 Dad and Mom loved eachother so much.  They were married for 65 years!  They never left eachother without a kiss - or many kisses.
 During Mom's last week, while she grew weaker and weaker, my Mom said "God is so faithful.  He's just so very faithful!"  Yes, Mom, He is.  I miss you so much.  The tears have been coming a lot today, but I rejoice in knowing that this earth is not our home, we're just a-passin' through.  It is just the beginning for you!

Until we meet again!!   Mata ne!  Sayonara, Mom!

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