He passed THROUGH Death INTO Life!

[Dodowa, Ghana] — I received an iMessage from home yesterday informing me that the last living uncle, from mother’s side of my family, had passed through death into life. Uncle Robert was always my favorite! When I read the news, I confess, a quick smile came upon my face as I fondly thought of the wonderful laugh and bright smile he always displayed.

From the earliest days of my life our family always visited Uncle Robert and Aunt Bobbie on Christmas morning. I remember all the fun we had enjoying the gifts given to my sweet cousins, Rhonda and Pam. Later each Christmas Day their family would visit our house where they could enjoy the gifts I had received. Christmas was a special time in our lives. Every Christmas morning, including this last, I telephoned Aunt Bobbie to wish them a Merry Christmas. I pledge, by God’s grace, I will do the same in 2015.

For the last several months, my youngest daughter, Sarah has been begging me to take her and her family to Apex to see Aunt Bobby and Uncle Robert but I was always too busy. I am sorry that I did not heed her words. I am sorry that I did not take to see Uncle Robert one last time, but as Sarah said in her iMessage to me on Monday – “He is with Jesus and we will see him again!”

To Aunt Bobby, Rhonda and Pam … I am so very sorry for your loss. Even though we think we are prepared, we are never ready. Take hope in the assurance that for the child of God to be absent from the body is to be at home with the Lord! Uncle Robert is in the presence of Jesus!

This all serves to remind me that we must seize every opportunity to touch those we love. Don’t take them for granted … make an extra phone call … take an extra drive … embrace the legacy of others. We are never too busy to stay connected with those who have touched our lives.

IMG_7135Thus far (through noon on Tuesday) our ministry in Ghana has preached face-to-face with estimated crowds of over 7,300. It has been good to watch our team interact with each other and the people in our hotel. Yesterday I walked past the lobby and overheard James sharing the gospel with one of the hotel staff. I am always humbled by the simple way James uses his unassuming personality to draw people in to a conversation about Jesus. Both he and Andy Poe are doing a stellar job in the evening film crusades. Jeff and I are doing school assemble programs each day to an average of 10 groups each. It is thrilling to witness the many people who receive Jesus Christ into their lives. Each of them, like Uncle Robert, are passing from death to life through the blood of Jesus Christ!

Please continue to pray for us as we have much work to accomplish.