Yesterday, August 17, my wife's father passed away at age 84. I wish to pay tribute to my father in-law who has blessed me in so many ways. Below is the letter I wrote to him the week before he died. He will be sorely missed but we treasure the hope of the resurrection morning through the blood of Christ. My wife and I look forward to seeing him again in heaven.
Wednesday, 10 August 2016
Lorelle has kept me informed of your health situation and I have felt the need to write to you and share some thoughts on my heart.
It has been a delight to be your son in-law. I remember vividly the time 24 years ago that we spent together in your downstairs work area and I shared with you my intentions in regard to your daughter and my promise to care for her. Your heart felt response from that time has made me feel secure in our friendship.
I thank you for the effort that you put into our wedding photography and the audio visual that you made for us. I thank you for your sense of humour and use of puns that I did not always pick up.
I thank you for the legacy you have left of hard working discipline and attention to detail. I have appreciated your thirst for knowledge and your interest in the Bible, science and history.
It was such a blessing to me to have you and Mum travel with me on the Adventist history tour 10 years ago. It is an event I will treasure. It has helped me greatly in my ministry in the context of the Adventist movement.
I have appreciated your ability with the camera to capture the wonders of our Creator through your audio visuals and pictures. Thank you for leaving a tapestry of images for your children and grandchildren to see into your character and appreciation of nature and wild life.
I am thankful for your legacy of faithful service to the mission of the Adventist Church through your work in the PA department of various churches and your trips to the mission field in the Islands and also to Russia.
I am deeply grateful to you for your support of me in my convictions regarding my belief in the Father and the Son. It meant a great deal to me to have your support and encouraging words. Thank you for doing your best to understand my perspective by researching the things I had written. I can’t express to you enough the comfort it gave me to have your encouragement.
Your gentle and thoughtful manner has been a blessed example to me. While that I am aware that I am a man of deep conviction and expression, I look to your example of gentleness and thoughtfulness to balance my natural manner.
Many memories flood through my mind of the times we spent together and the times you have visited us and helped us in our times of need. I will treasure those memories always. I truly wish I could be there at this time. You are in my thoughts and prayers daily.
It gives me much joy to see my first born Son, Michael use a camera after the manner that you have used it. Watching my son in action in his recent tour with me through Germany and the Netherlands reminded me that he has taken after you in this arena. He has also been awarded for an audio visual that he did at school for which I attribute to your legacy.
I can never express to you adequately how precious your daughter is to me. Your gentle and gracious manner lives in her and I am the greatest benefactor of this treasure. Lorelle truly is my Joy as you named her.
I rejoice that we share together the blessed hope of salvation in Jesus Christ. It is a treasure to me that I could be married into your family of which the prophet Ellen White said that your great Grandfather, George Masters, was "sure and steady and true as steel."
[Here is the quote from Ellen White:
Brother Masters and family live in Dunedin, and are doing quite a large work in canvassing for our books. He is sure and safe, and true as steel in his business with the office in Wellington. 11MR 3.]
I pray for your courage at this time and that your hand is firmly placed in the hands of your Saviour as your face the days ahead of you. I wanted to take this opportunity to express my love and thanks to you over the past 24 years that have flown by so fast.
If I do not have the opportunity to see you again on this side of the coming of Christ, I shall look for you on the morning of the resurrection and I look forward to sharing eternal life together with you in the presence of God and the Lamb.
With all my love and thanks