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Honoring Those Who Have Served

Senior woman's hands on a BibleLet me relate to you the story of a minister’s spouse that I took care of for nearly eight years before her home going. Although she is now with the Lord she left a lasting impression on me. I will not use her real identity even though all her living relatives and friends have long departed this earth. She and her husband held active ministry posts in the Assemblies of God Fellowship for decades and were very well known for their work.

I first met her as she peered at me through the screened back door of her house. I always entered through the back door because the front door had long since ceased to function. The house rested atop cinder blocks and had a long slender grass driveway leading to a back yard that was a mixture of weeds and gravel.

She invited me in with great gusto but upon entering my heart sank. The frail women that stood before me was at the most 4’6” tall having been crippled by osteoporosis. I could see the strain in her face as she lifted her head to look me in the eyes.

We walked through the cluttered back porch stockpiled with old Pentecostal Evangels, newspapers and yellowing cardboard boxes into the tiniest of kitchens equipped with only a stove and a sink. There were no cabinets only a few shelves upon which were a few glasses and plates.

She motioned for me to come into the next room and have a seat at what appeared to be a kitchen table with two chairs shoved against the near wall. The only other item in the room was a Frigidaire refrigerator that looked like it was the first one ever made. The only light came from a single bulb hanging from the center of the room from a tattered brown electrical cord. From my vantage point I could see directly into her bedroom, a black and white TV with rabbit ears sat precariously at the foot of the bed.

Over the years, I would visit her monthly to see how she was getting along and we would sit at that old table and I would listen for hours as she described brush arbors, tent revivals and the hours spent “praying through”. I wondered why she never would go to Maranatha Village, a place where she could reminisce with others. I guess by this time she was afraid to leave her home. All she knew were the three rooms that she lived in and a neighbor who stopped by frequently. By her reaction to my visits it was easy to see the loneliness that she dealt with daily.

This is the type of people that deserve our honor and respect as Christians. During their elderly years they should live with dignity for a job well done. They should be encouraged and strengthened by the church no matter what it takes. That’s why Maranatha Village exists, so others are not left out in the cold but can enjoy the warmth of spirit filled friends on their journey home. Don’t let this happen to other saints of the Lord, send a donation to the Maranatha Endowment Fund. Let’s not leave anyone out in the cold.