Our church has many heroes. They are the ones who have devoted their lives to found and grow our church. During the first week of my appointment to our church, I visited many of them and had a humbling experience. I will say something about the shut-ins and hospitalized members.
I visited Duane and Reta Simmons with Conrad Taylor. Duane has been a member of the Thursday Yard Crew for a long time till he had serious surgery and took time for recovery for almost a year. He has faithfully served our church, cleaning and taking care of our church yard with others. Now he prays that younger people can take part in such works because he is not able to do the job any more.
Another Thursday Yard Crew is Chuck Robinson. I visited him at the Kaiser, Santa Clara three times and saw him at his house after he came home. He and his wife Barbara sat side by side in arm chairs, all smiling and loving each other. I went there with Conrad Taylor again and prayed for them. They have given their lives to our church and now in a weak physical condition. I honor their sacrifices and faithfulness.
I visited Nancy Howser because I heard that she was in a hospital. However, she just came home and I had to turn around and saw her at her house. She is all smiling and dressed up unlike a sick person. She told her life story and her love for our church. I realize that we are here because of people like her. I learn to respect people like Nancy for what they have done.
I visited Carolyn Doub followed by the visit to his son, Landon Doub, with Jim McGuire. Carolyn was depending on her breathing tube and could not come to church but her love for church was special. She especially appreciate Jim’s effort to include his son Landon in the bike-a-ton. I could see the reason why after I met Landon. With the bike riding, he is now in our church family and not alone.
I visited Eugene Perkins, Carl and Mary Sundborg, Eleanor Parker, Chuck Morones, Jean and Ray Quilici, James Hofmeister with “Sud” Sundstern and Lee Crampton. Eugene, one of the founding members told us episode about the Rev. Oglesby. He used to put everything, meat, vegetables, and desert, in a mixer and drank it. We laughed together. Maybe his teeth were all gone. However, with his physical condition, he moved around and founded a church! (and many more after our church till he passed away in his ninties!). Jean Quilici was also one of the founding members. She was a nurse but she had a baby and could not practice her nursing skill. So, she nurtured four children, who are all active in their own churches. She could not take care of patients in hospitals but she took good care of church members and helped our church to grow.
While I have been visiting these heroes of our church, I learned that I could not judge people by their current physical condition. Now, some of them are not able to move around and work for the church, but they deserve our respect and acknowledgement because they have given all that they had to God. They have been faithful to the ministries that God had assigned to them. Now they are old and weak! May I suggest that we, younger and still running generation people, should inherit their ministries and follow their legacies?