Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Almost Heaven!

From Dean Starr -

Six years ago, I became a deacon at First Pres. I previously enjoyed being part of a care team for an elderly member of our congregation so I asked to serve in the Seniors ministry. I quickly had an opportunity to put my service to good use.

Deacon Chuck Clow and I volunteered to bring monthly home communion to a 97 year old member named Belva Forster. Whenever Chuck and I arrived at her home, this spry elderly lady greeted us at the door. Even though she was using a walker, Belva always greeted us with a very firm handshake and warm smile.  She always asked how we were. Before administering communion, we’d spend several minutes talking about her long and interesting life. 

Beautiful West Virginia - "Almost heaven!"

Belva described how she was born in West Virginia, and was very proud of that fact!! She married a businessman, and besides raising a son and daughter, had lived in many parts of the world. The one point she stressed to us repeatedly was that no matter where she was, her faith and love of the Lord never wavered. After visits, her daughter told us later how much Belva enjoyed and looked forward to our times. 

Ultimately Belva died at the ripe old age of 99.  I was honored to say a few words about our experiences. Listening as everyone spoke about her, I was moved to hear how much Belva truly looked forward to finally meeting the Lord. She left behind a large extended family and all of them spoke lovingly of the daughter of West Virginia. Belva loved the Lord and her native state, which reminded me of the line in John Denver's song...almost heaven, West Virginia!! Belva showed both of us what devotion and love of God truly meant, and her faith never wavered.  

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