I've known Roger and his wife, Yvonne for 36 years. When I was 12 years old we went to live with them so my mother, a single mom, could get back on her feet financially. Over the years they opened their home to so many people.
They were the ones who led our family to the Lord. It was through their ministry that I was introduced to missionaries and theologians. They taught me what it was to be a Christian. Yvonne taught my Sunday school class and Roger preached each Sunday. They didn't just talk, but they walked their talk. Their example showed me what a faith-filled life looked like. They were the ones who introduced me to the Bible college I went to and later, the seminary. Roger was my first example of what a husband and father should be.
Roger gave Dan his first opportunities to preach. Periodically, we would make the trek up the mountain so Dan could fill in as preacher for Roger. At times, we would trek up the mountain for rest and relaxation when we lived in the inner city. Their mountain top offered a respite from the craziness of our busy lives.
I haven't seen them in quite a few years. My sister and brother-in-law now live there and minister alongside them. Friday morning I got the news that Roger had passed away unexpectedly. 73 years. When I was younger that seemed such an old age. Now that I'm older, 73 is young. Too young to lose someone so dear.
He influenced so many people during his life. His passion pointed so many people towards the Lord. I know that he is rejoicing in heaven today, yet he will be missed. The wife, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and friends he left behind wish he was still here.
He is the top of my list of blessings today.
► A man who devoted his life to leading others to the Lord.
► Seeing old friends. Some I haven't seen in 20 years.
► Positive influences in my life.
► Hugging my sister and brother-in-law, whom I haven't seen in a year and a half.
► Reminiscing about good times.
► The chance to talk to my children about death and dying.
► A husband willing to drop everything and drive 150 miles so I could go to the viewing.
► A simple pine box with a cross etched on it, lovingly made by friends as Roger had wished.
► Recognizing the importance of saying goodbye.
► A man who can stand before the Lord and hear, "Well done, good and faithful servant!"
Roger was indeed God's faithful servant.