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A Reunion

John S. Torell

 

Aina and I gave our lives to Christ while we were in our mid 20’s and got busy right away in the Kingdom of God. Before long we were teaching Sunday school classes, making visits to the sick and going from door-to-door every week to share the Gospel with people in their homes. Then there was cleaning the church building and Sunday was a full day in church with Sunday School, worship service, training union and evening worship. The pace got even faster when we left Salt Lake City and moved to Mill Valley in California to start seminary. We met people and many friendships were made over the years. We never thought that our lives would end some day, we just lived from day to day for Jesus and tried to reach people for Christ.

Then came the years as an evangelist traveling in Europe and the United States. More friends were made and we never gave it a second thought of the many times we left a place and said our goodbyes and moved on.

This has led my 37 years as a pastor; we have stayed longer in places and our friendships took on a lasting relationship. Over the years you forget how many people you met and the times you had with them.

Some people from the past have started to come back into our lives. Recently we got a call from a former assistant pastor Gerry as he invited us to dinner in his home. We were together from 1976 to 1982, when he left Sacramento and moved to Los Angeles to attend seminary. When we came to his home, there was another former member, Randy, that in 1977 had been a drug addict and had become lost in the scuffle of life. Both of these men had been part of Christian Life Ministries and we had a wonderful time. We had prayed back then that Gerald would get a wife and we were able to meet her and their daughter. God answers prayer.

Randy told us of the night we came to his house when he was high on drugs and we led him to Christ and he was set free from the drug addiction. It was a high point in his life and he had never forgotten it. He reminded me that I had appointed him a deacon in the church and that he still loved Jesus. It felt so good and peaceful as we sat around that table and talked about old times and events. I felt like I had come home to dear friends that just wanted to tell us they loved us. This brings to mind the great reunion we will have in heaven someday when we meet up with old friends and find out what Jesus did in their lives.

Keith is another old friend that has come back into my life. He was the worship leader at Resurrection Life of Jesus Church from 1988 to 1991. He had a lovely wife and two wonderful children and the enemy used a man to destroy our friendship so that they left the church and moved away. In time they wrote and told us that they had made a mistake in believing what the enemy had told them through this man.

We kept in contact via e-mail from time to time and one day the Holy Spirit told me to call Keith. I felt so sad when I talked to him because his voice was the same but I knew he was sitting in a wheelchair and his hands were no longer able to play the guitar that he had blessed so many people with over the years. He told me that he had written an article on healing. His article cut me to my soul as here was a man that only 22 years ago had stood on the platform in our church and led us in sweet worship of Jesus. He had lost most of his body but not his faith. His mind was clear and his was spirit strong. This was another reunion, just over the phone.

Someday Gerry, Randy, Keith and I and all the rest will meet in our heavenly home where we will all be healed and able to run, dance and jump and tell God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit how much we love them. It is my earnest hope to see you there.


Volume 15, Issue 2