Thursday, December 2, 2010

Fisher (Hunter) of Men

Not too long ago Mark and I were talking about the many friends and family around us who are suffering with disease and death. We wondered, "Is it because we are older and just noticing it more, or are there really more people getting hurt, sick and dying these days?"

I'm not sure what the answer to that is, but I do know that our community lost another hero yesterday, just 8 weeks after Kris left this world. Now heaven is welcoming our friend Joe, a great outdoorsman and former Hunter Safety instructor in town. Although my heart is so sad for his family and how much they will miss him, I am so happy for Joe, that his muscles are now restored and he is back to walking and running with his folks and his Savior!

Do you see these kids? These little fisher-people include some Potosi children who joined Lancaster kids at a fisheree four years ago. We had just finished up a week of Vacation Bible School, and Joe & Luann were teachers at the camp. In fact, Joe & Luann are a big reason why VBS even exists in Potosi--because if it weren't for them saying "yes" to the vision, I'm not sure if VBS would have gotten off the ground here. Potosi VBS is special because we can have it at the public school (where Luann has taught for several years), and that is important because it reaches the un-churched families who otherwise may have shied away from such an experience.

These pictures were taken in 2006 during our second year of VBS. The theme was "Gone Fishing"; Luann taught the Bible lessons and Joe taught the games. Their kids were grown-up and yet, here was this faithful couple, devoted to God, each other, and the children of our community, giving their time and talents. I will be forever grateful and inspired by them.

If you look in the back left of this next picture, you can see Joe teaching my daughter Shae (then just 3 years old) how to fish. Luann is standing right behind them. Toward the center of the picture you can see Gail (in pink, seated), my daughter Ally, Gail's husband Chuck (standing at right), and my son Cy, almost 6. This was my kids' first experience fishing, and these two couples--the Droesslers and the Steiners--had taken time out on a VERY HOT Saturday morning to teach our kids, among many others, how to fish. It was the culminating activity after a week of learning God's love and the Gospel.

I know this day was just one of the many days that Joe took the time to help another human being and reach them for Christ. Last year when he was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), Joe continued to say "Jesus is Lord" and testify to all of us with his courage and steadfast faith. Joe's love for the outdoors, his family, and his Lord have impacted many people, this little fisher-girl to name one.

Gone Fishin' for Jesus. Thanks Joe! Hope to see you at the River some day!

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.--2 Corinthians 4:16


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