The last week of May, Mike and Kathleen Lahr told Bro. June and I that they would be retiring from GODTEL on June 22. For those of you who don’t know them, they have been the Directors of the Nacogdoches GODTEL for the past nine months.
Both of them originally came to GODTEL in need of shelter. (It seems that God had much more in mind for them than simply being housed and fed for a short season.)
Mike began his “career” at the Livingston mission in February of 2011 and transferred to the Nacogdoches mission in February of 2013 to be a caretaker of the 29 acres during construction of the buildings to relocate the shelter from downtown. He fed the chickens and goats, watered the fruit trees, and kept an eye on things. A fairly quiet man, he enjoyed the solitude. In time, we added him to GODTEL’s Board of Directors and he continued to make himself useful in many different ways, leading Bible studies, assisting June with banking and errand duties. His workday started at 6:00 a.m. daily, driving to Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts to pick up pastry donations for our residents to enjoy at breakfast. Twice weekly he picked up food donations from KFC as part of a food harvest program. The last six months or so, he has been doing GODTEL’s weekly grocery shopping—a very big help to me.
Kathleen came to the Nacogdoches mission at the end of 2016, just after we relocated the shelter. At that time, the women’s dorm consisted of three bedrooms in the staff house and it was crowded. From the time she arrived, she was helpful, volunteering for chores and willing to tackle any task assigned to her. Kathleen had planned to quickly get a job and move out, but a slip that broke her hip delayed that plan. She continued to volunteer at GODTEL, working through the pain. As she convalesced, she began to help me with my office work and very soon I realized she was quite an asset so we began to pay her a small salary. Soon after that we gave her a raise because she caught on quickly to whatever we asked her to do, was very thorough in her work, and was very pleasant to work with.
Through the ensuing months she and Mike had many conversations about life, faith, the similarities of their pasts (both were former Navy) and their hopes for the future. After much prayer, and believing God’s plan for them included matrimony, they were married on July 21, 2017.
In October, 2017, the Lahrs agreed to our request for them to be Directors of the Nacogdoches mission, a task they have performed much to our satisfaction. So, it is with heavy hearts that we bid them farewell and God speed, even as we pray for God to raise up a couple or family who have a heart for God and a compassion for the broken people we minister to on a daily basis.
We request prayers for Mike and Kathleen, for our other staff members, and for future guidance. We will continue to trust and obey our blessed Lord who has faithfully provided for this ministry since we were first chartered in 1975.
Joseph “On Loan”
We are very grateful to Martin and Mary Baker, Directors of GODTEL’s Lufkin mission for agreeing to let one of their team members, Joseph Parrott, temporarily relocate to Nacogdoches to manage mission operations. Joseph has worked off and on at the Lufkin mission since 2008 and knows the rules and routines well. His widowed mother has many health problems and he takes care of getting her to and from doctor’s appointments so he will be busy on and off of GODTEL property.
Sixteen Years Ago . . .
A call came in to the Livingston Mission recently from a man in Arizona. He was calling to thank us for helping him get on his feet back in 2002. He said he is doing well and follows us on YouTube and on our website.
It is always a blessing to hear from our former residents and learn that they are doing well.
We are also blessed by all of you who support GODTEL in so many ways. Thank you and may God guide, protect, and bless you.