Tuesday, July 29, 2008

God is Doing Wondrous Things

The services in our church Sunday were blessed. I was so amazed to see all of the family members who had not left yet file into church for the early service - 8:30 a.m. The choice of choir song was inspired by God. Here are the words:

Carry me, Father God,
On your strong eagle wings of love.
Through the storm keep me safe;
Through the tears and all my shame,
Carry me.

This world is full of trouble,
And in the night I stumble,
But you never will forsake me.
You see me when I fall,
You hear before I call,
And You're always there to save me.

Carry me, Father God,
On your strong eagle wings of love.
Through the storm keep me safe;
Through the tears and all my shame,
Carry me.

I need Thee; O, I need Thee!
Every hour I need Thee!
O bless me now, my Savior,
I come to Thee!

Carry me. Carry me.

Dan's next older brother, Ryan, was scheduled to speak in the morning service. He and his wife, Emily, were being commissioned that day by our church for their departure to the hinterlands of Alaska for three years (minimum) of mission aviation work. I never thought he would attempt it, considering he had lost his brother 4 days earlier. He prayed about it and told Pastor that he wanted to do it. He and Emily shared their journey and their hearts with us. God has provided every single need. She got a teaching job exactly where she needed to - and was hired on the spot because she came for an interview - a very unusual occurrence in that part of the world. Most of the hiring is done by internet and phone. But - God is in control here - they had to take a trip up there for the mission to familiarize themselves with the area - just at the right moment. What an awesome God we serve, who micromanages details for us!

There were few dry eyes in the House that morning. Can you see another amazing thing that God orchestrated? In the midst of all the sadness and pain, He arranged for all of these loved ones of Ryan's and Emily's to be in the service that day to bless them.

At the end of the message, the altar was full of folks praying for a closer walk with the Lord. Then Pastor asked all ordained elders to come and pray on the platform with Ryan and Emily. Understand that our church is small in relation to many of yours - we run 200 at most in worship. But that morning there were 9 ministers in the audience - What a blessed way to end the service.

But the blessings weren't over yet! My nephew, who has recently moved to Olympia, Washington, to be senior high pastor at a large church, was Dan's youth pastor and drove back for the service and for the family's sake. As a serentipity, we got to hear him preach in the evening service. He is such a special young guy as well. Thank you, God.

I know I'm not alone in sometimes getting discouraged and worried about the future of our land. But when I saw the evidence of Dan's faith and the legacy that he left, and then I saw Ryan and Emily heading for a tough place to serve God - a place that doesn't even have one established church in the village - and I saw my nephew serving God in ministry, and I saw Brook, Dan's girlfriend, who had to return to India early from a mission she had been working on this summer, and I saw all of the others on the platform, several of whom are young, and I thought of Katie who is in Argentina volunteering this summer, and I thought of Pastor's son and DIL who are missionaries there in Argentina, and I thought of Jessica who is serving the Lord while in the Peace Corps in Kazakhstan, and I thought of the large group from our church who are going to Peru in August, and I saw the young pregnant woman who is giving of herself to direct VBS next week, and I saw all the young folks from our church who were working at the camp where Dan died - well, I was just overwhelmed with joy and hope. Thank you, Father.

Dan's life is having an impact already - he had planned to go to Focus on the Family Institute, whose goal is to train young people to make a difference in their world. You wonder why God allows someone with such an awesome goal to die so young. But ours is not to know why. I do know that already, two of my blog friends have shared Dan's story with their late teen-aged sons. I pray that they will be inspired to make a difference for God.

Everyone was pretty much emotionally wrung dry by the end of this week. We praised Him once again when we learned that Dan's younger girl cousin, who spent some time with friends after the funeral home viewing, was going to be okay after being hit in her town by a drunk guy who was driving in the middle of the road with no lights on. Thank you, Jesus.

Another amazing thing is that the company owned by the Walker family (where DC works) is having a huge get-together which they call a Family Reunion this coming week-end. People will be coming from all over the world to celebrate the 100,000th mower coming off the assembly line. They did this for the 50,000th several years ago and it's an amazing thing to see people come from so many states and countries to celebrate with us. Many of their family members were able to stay after the funeral, and have been there to comfort Dean and Suzanne. Thank you, Lord.

Suzanne is the coordinator of the trip to Peru that I mentioned above. Please pray that God will give her the direction she needs to know what to do. And the strength to do it.

(If you have not been by lately, please peruse the previous posts to make sense of this one).


Jess said...

Our God is an Awesome God, he reigns from heaven above with wisdom, power, and love... Our God is an Awesome God.

PEA said...

Dear Dawn,

I can well imagine what a sad week this has been, losing a young man like Dan is very hard to understand but I was always taught that God had a reason for everything and we were not to question why. When my dad died at the age of 48, I had a very hard time not asking God WHY...in fact, He and I didn't get along too well for a while there....but after many years of inner searching and understanding, I am now at peace with His decision. I can imagine how touching it was to see so much support within the church for Dan's memory and the legacy he's left behind. My prayers are with his family and friends. xoxo

Michelle-ozark crafter said...

It is always so awesome to see God move in such wondrous ways even in the midst of heartache.

Nancy said...

Oh Dawn, God is good and look at the many ways He has shown you and the others, just that, through all of this. I will continue to keep all of you in my prayers and appreciate your keeping us up to date.

nancygrayce said...

When my grandmother died, we were looking at her Bible. She had written across the last blank page "there is a reason for our sickness (or whatever trouble) known only to God" I'm sure she wrote that in a time when she couldn't make sense from an earthly view of what was going on in her life.

We just have to remember Deuteronomy 29:29 "The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law." Some things we just aren't meant to understand! That doesn't make it hurt less.

Needled Mom said...

I am feeling so much better about our world since reading your post, Dawn. We are blessed with so many wonderful people and yet, we only hear the bad stuff in the news. Thank you for sharing the lives of all these angels on earth.

Susie said...

Hi Dawn,
What an encouraging and uplifting post after the sadness of last week.
Dan's spirit is living and working through those left behind.

Nadine said...

Good is so good even in this tragic event. What amazing people who are devoted and dedicated to the Lord and His people. Thank you for sharing their stories with us.

Diane@Diane's Place said...

He is with us even in the storms of life, and how sweet the comfort of His Holy Spirit during and after those storms.

God bless all Dan's family and friends, as I see He's already doing.

Love and hugs,


Linds said...

Wonderful uplifting post, Dawn. It must have been a very difficult time, yet God's grace is everywhere.

Maine Mom said...

After I read this post, my neighbor's saying "Everything happens for a reason" popped into my head. So true!

Mimi said...

what a wonderful God we have...He handles all the details at just the time they need to be done in order for everything to come together in His Glory!!!
what a wonderful blessing you received yesterday!!!
and what a wonderful witness this family of God is to the rest of the world....

Tammy said...

This is so incredible and wonderful...
It's still sometimes hard to understand when things like this happen, but God is God and His love never fails!

Coe said...

The choir song was wonderful on Sunday. Just what we needed. I can ditto everything else you said. It was a healing Sunday.

Judith said...

Praise God, Praise God.

Theresa said...

God is so good....all the time. It is always such a blessing to read your posts and see how God moves in your life, even when times are tough. Thank you.

Sharon Lynne said...

Thank you for including that beautiful song...so comforting.

God was truly glorified in this gathering.

The beauty of the Christian faith...so evident. Nothing separates us from the love of God...neither life...nor death.

Midlife Mom said...

What a wonderful post Dawn! I am sure it will touch those who read it! I look at the face of this fine young man and I feel such sorrow but I know I shouldn't as he has fulfilled his God given destiny here on this earth for a purpose only known to the Father. Our God reigns!!!

PS I did those shapes of the pictures by putting them though Microsoft Picture It and then putting them back into My Pictures in their new form. It's very easy and you can put them through many other programs and do the same thing.

Linda said...

Thank you so much for sharing all of this with us Dawn. He has been a very difficult/amazing time for all of you. It is such a privilege to see God work in such a profound way.
Like you, I am encouraged when I look at the young adults in my life. They love the Lord with a deep, passionate love and are willing to serve wherever He leads. The younger women in our blogging community have my deepest admiration. They are women of deep, abiding faith. God is good.

Penless Thoughts said...

What wonderful praises and reporting by you. Shows that Romans 8:28 is ALWAYS true whether we see it or not. God's plans and purposes are so much bigger than we can even imagine. I, like you, am very encouraged in what we see spiritually going on around us.
We serve a GOOD GOD and we've read the last chapter of the book!!!!

rockymountainpreacherchick said...

I am at Columbine Hills Church of the Nazarene. i was googling info. about Dan to make sure that everyone back at Olivet got everything they wanted, and your blog popped up, so I read it. That's how I found it! :) Thanks for your kind comments!