Come visit us at our new blog site:
Monday, September 14, 2009
While it has been many months since an update, I thought it was fitting to restart our posts with something that has been on our heart more recently. I hope to soon follow this post with an update on our family, what we have been doing, how Jonatan is, and what we are looking forward to.
Sometimes, it is in an individual's death that you are reminded of just how special that person really was. And so it is the case with Dave's Mom. Back in the end of August, Betty traveled home to be with her Lord, and she will be dearly missed.
The initial news of her death came as a surprise. We had just spent a wonderful vacation with she and Dad in Toronto with Dave's brothers and their families. She had been doing so well...after two strokes and complications with her heart, this was the most clear that she had been in a couple years. She seemed on a path to getting back to her old self. Perhaps these final moments together were a gift for us as family.
"Lord, I'm yours~fill my cup (me) with 'sweet water' that what spills over may be a blessing to others. Fill me with your love. Fill me with your wisdom, your perspective, your patience. Fill me with hope based on faith and trust in You and your power and sovereignty. Fill me with your peace and serenity. Lord, you were never in a hurry~never flustered or rattled.
Fill me with Your Spirit. I submit to Your Lordship~to your control. This life is so short~eternity is forever. Lord, make my life count~glorify yourself in me. Take me~I'm yours.
Make my commitment a very practical, down-to-eart, tangible thing~that my husband & children can see, know, and feel."
In the front of her Bible, Betty had fixed this prayer. I can only imagine that this was something she daily meditated on, along with the scores of verses highlighted and noted. And, her life was a picture of the words written however long ago in that prayer. In remembering her with family and friends, it was amazing to hear just how significant an impact she had in the lives of others. Her love for Christ and His work always abounded, even when she felt trapped inside her own body following her strokes. I could go on about her, and I am sure that when I was done she would seem larger than life. Really, though, time spent with Betty was always about drawing close to the Lord. That was her greatest desire and gift for not just her family, but for all she met. It was evident in how she lived her life.
On September 11th, Dave's parents would have celebrated their 50th anniversary. Dave had the opportunity to spend the day with his Dad remembering. While a sad and somber occasion, it was a day of remembering back to those first days of getting to know one another and the day that began a beautiful almost 5 decades of marriage together. Their marriage has taught us a lot about persevering, and much more about life in Christ. We are thankful for the influence both of them have had on our lives, both individually and as a couple. We are praying for Dave's Dad as he grieves his "Tweety-pie" and considers the 'what nexts' of life. I have attached a copy of Betty's obituary if anyone is interested in reading it.
Betty L. Derr
(June 19, 1935 - August 23, 2009)
Betty L. Derr, 74, of 1340 Northway Road, Williamsport, died suddenly Sunday, August 23, 2009 at the Williamsport Hospital. Betty and her husband, Rev. Charles W. Derr, would have observed their 50th anniversary on September 11.
Betty and her husband were missionaries for 34 years in Colombia, Costa Rica and Canada. She was a graduate of Wheaton College, Wheaton, Ill., a member of Community Baptist Church and volunteered for the American Rescue Workers, Prison Fellowship and the Child Evangelism Fellowship.
Born June 19, 1935 in Hugo, Okla., she was the daughter of Edmund and Mary Louise Kennedy Miller.
Surviving besides her husband are sons, Mark E. (Ingrid) and Kenneth C. (Jennifer) both of Toronto, Can., and David P. (Sheila) of Harrisburg; a daughter, Kathryn R. Rice of Williamsport and seven grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to the Child Evangelism Fellowship, 460 Market Street, Williamsport, PA 17701.