Last month was a time of more goodbyes to friends and acquaintances. June had the sad honor of presiding over the graveside funeral service of his dear friend, Haden Eddings, on a Wednesday. We got word three days later that a former resident of our Livingston mission had died in his sleep and just a few days after that another one of our former residents died in his sleep. He had recovered from COVID-19 and been out of the hospital for a while so there may have been complications due to his leukemia and previous chemotherapy treatment.
Each of these men had plans for the future which will never be. From the time Haden’s cancer was discovered till his body died was only three weeks. He at least had that much warning, but Jerry and David were unaware when they went to bed for the night that they would wake up somewhere other than planet earth, having left their bodies behind. Death is certain; the time it will come is unknown. Now is when we must prepare because ready or not, death is coming.
Former Resident Report
For two months at the end of 2019, a woman stayed at our Nacogdoches mission who did just exactly what she was supposed to do. She followed the rules, got a job, saved her money, and found a place to live. She is still working that job and taking care of herself. Her daughter, Kimberly (who owns Flamingo Styles & Tans), was very thankful for the help we gave her mother and put her skills to work volunteering at GODTEL. She began to come on a monthly schedule and cut our residents’ hair at no cost. The photo below is of one of those sessions.
SFA Canned Food Drive
Thanks go to members of SFA’s Tri Delta & Pi Kappa Phi who conducted a canned-food drive as a community service project and delivered the results to our Nacogdoches shelter on November 20th. (Photo below.)
On November 15th, my dear cousin, Jim Chism, and his precious wife, Janet, stopped by the Livingston mission on a Sunday morning to worship with us at Mission on the Hill where Bro. June preaches each Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. (visitors are welcome). Jim and Janet are members of Max Lucado’s church in San Antonio and were on their way back home after visiting with their daughter in Florida, with friends in Mississippi (or Georgia), and my sister Allison and her husband, Arthur, in Sulphur, Louisiana. After church, June and I, Jim and Janet, and my sister Helen (who works with us at GODTEL) went out for lunch where Jim received a “kiss sandwich” from me and Helen (see photo below).
During lunch we enjoyed hearing Jim’s testimony of how, after years of being a Christian-in-name-only, God used his wife and his secretary (over a period of 10 years) to finally bring him to a turning point where he became a Christian for real and surrendered his life to Jesus.
The final step came when he was telling his secretary about the exercise program and nutrition regimen he and Janet were following. She asked him how long did he think he would live by adhering to that lifestyle. Since our grandmother lived to be 108, he guessed he might live to be 100. His secretary responded by saying that was nothing compared to eternity and he should be nourishing his spirit with God’s Word and exercising by living the Christian life and telling others about Jesus.
When he told his sister about the amazing change in his life, she smiled and told him not to be a fanatic. (It was too late for that, he already was one.) What joy he experienced when not too long after that, his sister accepted Jesus and became a fanatic herself.
Christmas Day 2020
In years past we have provided a Christmas devotion and meal for the three communities where GODTEL operates homeless shelters but, as I said last month, this is a different sort of year. We still plan to have a traditional Christmas service and meal for our residents, but will not advertise for the general public to join us. And, as with Thanksgiving, we will miss the fellowship of the many helpful volunteers who, in past years, have chosen to spend this special day with the homeless. Our prayer is that they will be blessed as they celebrate the birth of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.
We hope you all have a joyous Christmas and a Happy New Year!