touched by words

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We have been touched by the words of family and friends. Some have come in the form of blog comments. Some have been gently spoken. Some have come via email. And some have come through the mail. All of them have touched us and I need to gather them in one place as a reminder of what this life is really all about. If Dad were able to speak his heart, he would not want this to be about him, but about what God has done through a man, called Art, who said “Lord, anything, anytime, anywhere!”

We have always loved and appreciated your Dad for his LOVE for the Lord and his passion to see lost people come to Christ through his own example and challenging others to missions. ~ susan

They are special to us and have been an influence in our missions work in Peru. ~ marie & joseph

We are so thankful for the time we spent with your parents last August. We recall Art’s familiar humor and laughter when we were all together – joyful memories. ~ david & sylvia

Tell Art we love him and if he remembers Sam, the child he found sleeping in the doorway when he stayed with us, that I just got word today Sam has arrived safely in Latvia for a 10-day mission trip… It was people like you and Art who gave my children an education in missions. I am ever thankful for the influence you had in our family. ~ paul & dorothy

Over the years we have had many pastors and missionaries as friends. We treasure their memories. But somehow, Art stands out as being someone very special. How can I put it? It is almost like God’s Spirit is “jumping out of him” with joy and energy! ~john & donna

I’ve had the opportunity to share with several people about your Dad and Mom (and you), their time in Suriname….which has opened the doors for some interesting sharing….with people I never thought I’d have the opportunity to share with. So its just cool to think about how your family gave of themselves..and it continues to draw more and more people to Christ many, many years forward. This is what God intended I know, but its just neat to see. ~ julie

Art has been such a blessing to all of us here at Camp Gilead. I talked to a bank president just the other day that was led to the Lord by Art in the late 50’s when Art was a councelor here at the camp. He is still living for the Lord What an influence he has had on so many lives. Connie and I were priviledged to have dinner with Art and Evy last August when we were over to the beach for a week. We met them at church Sunday morning, and had a wonderful time of fellowship over lunch. My Dad had the great honor of baptising Art many years age. We also miss him at our annual men’s retreat each year here at the camp. ~ gary

Bob was telling me that every time he thinks of your Dad, he thinks of the many times he would say, especially after a good teaching, “if that don’t light your fire, your wood’s all wet.” Isn’t that a great thing to remember? ~ ruth

What an honor that we got to spend time with him here in Houston some time back. Also, what a privilege to have been baptized by your sweet, godly father while in Suriname during our high school years. Your description of your dad for the nurses is so accurate; kind, godly, patient, gentleman. He truly blesses everyone he comes in contact with. ~ jamelle

Art gave me the “Yesterday He Helped Me” poem about 20 years ago when I felt God had called me to something that seemed to difficult for me. I answered His call to direct an inner city ministry in Montgomery Alabama 20 years ago and I have used it many times to encourage many staff and hurting and scared people. ~ lee

We have been remembering the many times we have gone to see Art (and many times, you, Evy) and the many ways you have both touched our lives. When we see Art in our minds, it is behind the pulpit,much like the photograph you have in the site. We think of his great faith and how God has used him in countless lives, to win souls, and to teach and encourage. I loved all the examples and stories from his own life that he used, people he met and their experiences, places he has traveled – and all the people on the planes and in the airports that he met.

One of my favorite memories of Art, and one that is the essence of him, happened one night in Albion, Penn, at a missions conference at a small church there. It was a round robin conference, speaking every night at a different church in the “circuit” of Churches, and Art was the main speaker for the evening. Several missionaries gave a short talk on their ministeries, and then Art was to speak. He took the pulpit and told the congregation that there was a young couple there, working for their support, and having quite a bit of trouble in many ways. They were not scheduled to speak, but Art said he was giving up his time this evening so we could hear about this couple and their work. I have never forgotten that. Many pastors and speakers are loath to give up their time, but the space in Arts make-up where that trait would have resided, was instead, filled with love. ~ sharon

Art has always given me and also my family so many moments of laughter. ~ janet

…Art and Evy were close friends with my Grandma and Grandpa… He conducted the eulogy for both Grandma and Grandpa. I have vague memories of him at Grandma and Grandpa’s house when I would visit Florida as a child but knew that Art and Evy were dearly loved. Grandpa had Art’s newsletter read to him as often as he could find someone to read them. In Sept. 2007, Art mustered the strength to continue his life long service to the Lord and spoke at Grandpa’s funeral. I was so touched by his efforts to rally the energy and bring full circle his friendship with Grandpa. But in addition to that, something Art said quietly to me has left it’s mark. After hearing me speak, he said and then repeated that I was annointed of God. I took it as an encouragement like what Paul would’ve given to Timothy. I needed those words. Art is a mighty man of God and his words were given to me at just the right time in my walk with the Lord. Even now, I know the Lord continues to work through him. My prayers are with y’all in this difficult time. Take heart, he is about to receive his reward! ~ matt

and to God be the glory, great things he continues to do!

5 responses »

  1. Ditto to all that has been written about Art! What an unforgettable man! This morning when we sat with him for awhile there were moments when he got that mischievous grin on his face like when he had told a great joke. It brought back great memories of all the good, healthy laughs that always accompanied our dear friend.

  2. We are blessed to read the stories about Art and ways God has used him (and Evy) to influance many. We’ve been praying and will continue to pray for God to give you guidance and direction as you make decisions concerning what comes next. We hope your important meeting on Wed. went well. Your times are in His hands and He will lead you and provide all that you need. Please give Art and Evy hugs for us. Oh, Ruthi, we included a link to your blog on our web site. Love you all, Dad amd Mom (Sylvia) De Jong.

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