This is Elizabeth Harris, a great hero of ours, who served God with
remarkable persistence and determination, even as Parkinson's disease robbed
her of her strength and mobility. For many years she worked with prostitutes
and drug addicts on the streets of Skid Row. She came to call Joy Fellowship
her church in later years, and her home was often the place we would gather
to pray. We miss her.
Larry Olmstead, in the middle, was a great man who loved to sing (and pretend to play a guitar). He loved Elvis, who never cared much for Larry. But he also loved Jesus, and Jesus sure loved him. He gave us much joy and we miss him.
Ann Johnson and Ron Hall were married a few years before their deaths. They were one of the most wonderful loving couples we have ever known. If only more marriages could have the qualities of mutual love and appreciation theirs had. Both of them had severe physical disabilities although Ron wrote (with enormous difficulty and patience) a book of meditations and devotions that we still treasure. Ann had one of the most radiant and thankful spirits of ANYone we've ever known. She said "Thank you" a hundred times a day to almost everyone she met with such joy and affection that she shone brightly with the light of the Lord. We know what her first words were on meeting our Lord. Together they were a great inspiration to us all,
and we miss them.
Anne Marie David was a frail, but warm-hearted, gentle angel in our midst. She really loved life, and camp and animals. We imagine she'll be working in the heavenly stables. Through her we have connections now with friends in New Mexico, who send us hand-made treasures to share with our neighbors. She had a wonderful courage and joy in trials, though very young when she went Home. We miss her.
This dear guy is John Flett, with his sweetheart Christine Wilson. John loved his Bible (which he called Moses, since one of his first Bibles had had a picture of his hero Moses on the cover). He brought his Bible with him to church and Bible study every week, even though John could not read. He loved his Bible, and his Lord, because his Bible told him that Jesus loved him.
We miss him.
Front row left is Pamela McLean, a wonderful, gentle sweetheart. She was a mom whose husband left her when she got MS, and who had to give up her daughter and send her to boarding school when Pam had to live in a hospital. Never a word of complaint. Only sweet smiles and gentle words of thanks and encouragement. She taught us so much about patience, and contentment, lessons learned in a very difficult school. We miss her.
this picture are Gary Armstrong and his mother Ida. Gary was our gentle
giant—a man of no words, but of infinite welcome and grace. He would be the
first to see a new face and call out attention to the newcomer in our midst.
His glad and generous heart blessed us every time we gathered. He lived with
his mom for many years but then made a good transition to a group home, and
got his mother to begin coming to church (as often happens with our folks).
She too became a beloved member, until Gary suddenly died of cancer, and she
followed him just a few months later. We miss them both.
Norman Salewski loved life, and food, and fun, and parties, and people,
and teasing, and music, and Jesus. We loved him. He brought us great joy. We
is a picture of Anne Cowper and her fiancée, Victor Penner. They met at a
big institution where Victor lived. Anne would come with us each week to
visit that ward, and she would sit beside Victor and hold his hand. He lay
in bed, unable to speak or do anything for himself except move his head and
make sounds... Anne became his friend. We didn't realize how deep their
friendship was. Victor was moved into a wonderful Christian (MCC) group home
in Abbotsford, and we continued to keep that contact alive by driving out
and visiting that home once every month or two, to worship and pray and
visit. The staff noticed Anne's love for Victor, realized that she was
probably the one person who had been constant in his life over all the past
25 years, and that they had a wonderful and deep relationship. They noticed
changes in Victor's behaviour and mood when Anne would come to visit. We
supported this loving relationship, and one day Anne and Victor had an
engagement party. Less than a month later, the Lord called Victor home. Anne
still wears his precious ring, and she misses him VERY much.