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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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