Bittersweet time in Florida

Setting up at Pillar Community Church before service

Setting up at Pillar Community Church before service

130 of Ralph and Nancy's closest friends

130 of Ralph and Nancy’s closest friends

I just got back from Florida in February, and that is always a good thing, but this trip, while great, was bittersweet for me. I wasn’t planning to go down there now, but we have family friends, Ralph and Nancy who have basically known me since I was born, they are family to me, who are also struggling with cancer now. Ralph’s cancer is incurable, and he is getting to the end of his life. My mom and I decided to fly down to see them, and while we were there to see other dear friends, the Kusmers and the DeMarcos, and also my grandma and my uncle.

When we were setting up the trip, the Kusmers’ church, Pillar Community in Vero Beach, asked me if I would be willing to do their church services since I was in town over a Sunday. I was more than happy to, especially since this was a church plant only a couple of years ago, and we’ve been praying for them ever since – it was so fun to see how God has blessed them! The people there were absolutely wonderful, and we had such a great morning. The Holy Spirit was in that place! I was also so touched that our friends, the DeMarcos, drove all the way up from Delray Beach to see us! We were able to stop and spend some time with them too on our way to see Ralph and Nancy.

Ralph and Nancy had asked me if I’d be willing to do a “house concert” for them while I was there. I did that once for them several years ago, so I said sure – I was picturing 15-20 people in their living room. Well, they rented a space and had about 130 of their closest friends there! They’ve always been such an encouragement to me and in my ministry, and they are so proud – I feel like one of their kids. It touched my heart to see how much Ralph was enjoying it, and we felt so blessed that he still felt relatively well that week. Even today, just a few days later, Nancy tells me it would be too much for him now, but God was sweet to us all that week. It was so hard to say goodbye to them. But we know we will see each other again – it’s never really goodbye when we love the Lord. But it hurts – I will miss him so much until then.

We went and had some sweet time with my 96 year old grandma (for those who have been to a show, yes, she still rides her bike to the grocery store) and my uncle. Then home to the snow. I’m so glad I went, but it was a hard trip. Would love you to keep Ralph and Nancy in your prayers!

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