This is what he wrote me about their day.
We had a delightful lunch at a lovely restaurant set among the orchards of East Kelowna. Our Pastor Wil and his wife Wendy were our guests. We had people who were total stangers asking what was the occasion and when they heard it was 67 years of marriage, they were amazed. But why should they be amazed? When we were married we took the stand that marriage was a life-long covenant between us for as long as we would live. And that is still where we stand. Now we can look backwards over these years and see it was God's hand that led us and his grace that sustained us through all the trials that all people go through. I am so glad that we have"kept the faith" and God has blessed us. I think we took the right course with no regrets. It pays to obey God's Word.
Together they spent 43 years in East Africa as missionaries. They lived in the mud hut. They’ve gone without many of the comforts of this life. They’ve made a lot of sacrifices. Once my grandfathers been attacked and beaten for sharing the gospel. They’ve endured hardship and rejection over the years. They’ve buried a child. They’ve been separated from family for long periods of time. They don’t have much money ... but they are THE most contented people I know.
You can’t always hear it, but more than a few times I think I've heard them just humming or whispering a song to the Lord. They've made making melody in their hearts to God the practice of their lives.
There’s not a day that goes by that they’re not starting the day out with prayer and reading God’s word. There’s an atmosphere of praise around them. I was in their home a few months ago, you just walk in and you feel you’re in an environment where God is continually praised! My grandmother still has her piano. She plays her favorite hymns. You should hear them sing in their church. They give it all they’ve got! They’re so grateful to the Lord for the life He’s given them. They count it a joy to serve him. To this day there are pastors from all over the world call them their spiritual parents.
Getting older is not without it's problems. Grandma is beginning to struggle with losing her short-term memory. Nothing is more potentially discouraging or worrisome than that. I know there have been times of fear and anxiety. But whatever their stuggles, they keep it to themselves. They are choosing to bless the Lord at ALL times. They're two of the most joyful people that I’ve ever known.
Actually, it's been my observation that even when things don’t go their way, or when delays happen, they just sort of laugh it off. They’re attitude is, “We’re not going to worry about it … we’ll get there when we get there … we’re not in a rush. They've taught us all a Swahili proverb, "Harraka, harraka, hyena barakka" … "Hurry, hurry has no blessing."
No wonder they’re so happy! No wonder they’ve lived so long, and kept so healthy.
I wonder how much more you and I would enjoy our lives if we’d be a little bit more like them, and not take everything so seriously; not let every setback depress us for two weeks; not let every disappointment cause us to go around in self-pity for a month.
It's a choice to rejoice.
“Be ever filled with the Spirit, ... speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always ...” Ephesians 5:18-20