Saturday, November 3, 2007

even still in ministry

Several weeks ago we received this invitation to attend the celebration of Gerry's 30th year of ministry. Heidi asked that those of us who had been ministered to by Gerry to record their memory or story. Our family has never actually lived in a town where Gerry has been in ministry. We've travelled to visit Gerry and Heidi and their two daughters on several occasions and have felt the warmth of the congregation simply for being related to their pastor.

Gerry's path leading to ministry didn't start 30 years ago. It started with our Mom and Dad. Gerry had the blessing of parents who loved the Lord and knew that they had no choice but to dedicate their young son to serving wherever the Lord would see fit. Gerry had praying parents. Had they known when he was a baby in their arms that someday he would be part of the service that laid them to rest . . .they would have had wept. Is there any greater hope that a parent can have than that their child will serve God with his whole heart?


So it was after some years of ministry within their local church body that Gerry and Heidi felt the call to become equipped to a greater level. They moved their young family across the country so that Gerry could attend Bible College.
As we sat on the steps of our parents home with them that day, we knew that it would be some time before our families would once again be able to visit face to face.

Upon Gerry's graduation he began his ministry first in the area that they lived. It wasn't long before they began to sense that God was leading them to church plant and several times they moved their family where they were needed.

During the years that they lived away from family, we would wait the beginning of December for the annual Christmas card. Every year without fail, they would prop up a camera and pose. The row of pictures . . .was a testament to the fact that they were a family unit and whatever they did or wherever they were, they were together.




Gerry and Heidi blessed us in a ministry way at each of our sons weddings. During the preparations for the weddings, they opened their home. They spent time with Stuart and Karlee teaching them the important values that make a marriage strong.



Then a few years later, they repeated that blessing at Terrence and Bea's wedding. Perhaps I'm a bit biased but Gerry performs a wedding ceremony with eloquence and beauty that resounds in the hearts of those he marries long after the ceremony is over.


Gerry and Heidi have earned the right to speak of commitment in marriage.

Though they have faced difficult times in the past and continue to face challenges, they are stuck like glue. Their love for one another is visible to all who know them and they continue to be an example of what marriage vows really mean.


Humanly we cannot know when we have reached the pinnacle of our ministry. That alone is known by God and we may be surprised to find upon standing before our Heavenly Father that our ministry was far more reaching than we had imagined.
Gerry has had multiple sclerosis since 1983. Some of that time he has felt God's powerful hand on his life during which he felt healing and opportunities to experience good health. More recently he hasn't felt as good. As a sister it is hard to watch my big brother lose physical strength. It is the harsh reality of living with MS.
Gerry's sense of humor and his heart for the lost and his love for his family is as strong as ever and will continue to be who he is. He will always be a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is as real as the diploma that hangs on his office wall stating that he is qualified. I suppose that the human part of us occasionally needs affirmation that we are indeed qualified to minister to others but Gerry will not lose the invisible yet powerful anointing to be a servant of God. Gerry will always continue to have a ministers heart. He will continue to be a shepherd . .leading people to follow Christ.
May God continue to bless you as you are a blessing to others.
Gerry, I leave you with words that you have no doubt said many many times yourself.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
2 Corinthians 13:13


14 comments:

  1. Beautiful Auntie Lovella. Thank you for honouring dad with your words. Everything you said is true.

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  2. Oh Lovella...what a beautiful post honouring your brother.

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  3. Thanks Lovella - it's interesting to read about ones life through another's eyes. You did a wonderful job of capturing Gerry's heart. Thanks! He is so looking forward to his party tomorrow. Heidi

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  4. A beautiful , heartfelt tribute to your brother, Lovella!
    I'm sure he loves seeing himself through you eyes.

    "Congratulations, Gerry! on your years of service and may God continue to use you in ways you never thought possible!"

    I love you photos, Lovella, they bring back memories - especially the lovely picture of your parents.
    I don't remember though - Terry broke his leg?

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  5. I'll look forward to hearing at the next retirment party "Well done, good and faithful servant!"
    Cheers to Gerry from here, for now.

    (I think Gerry is a lot like the Home to Harmony book's pastor...)

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  6. Lovella, you've written such a beautiful tribute to your brother. I struggled to finish reading it because of the tears in my eyes. I believe the "eloquence and beauty" of which you spoke runs in your family. May God continue to bless you all.

    Congratulations to you, Gerry, on this milestone in your ministry, and may you continue to walk with God, and He with you.

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  7. Geez Lovella, I never had a brother. Mind if I take yours??? He sounds like a real gem. You are a blessed woman!

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  8. lovella........beautiful tribute to your brother...i can see why you would be so proud.....30 years is quite the accomplishment.
    congratulations gerry and heidi

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  9. I am blessed by your tribute to Gerry. What wonderful words for your brother. May the Lord continue to bless both Gerry & Heidi as they minister and are obedient to what God would have them do.

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  10. I can only echo everyone else's words - such a beautifully written and heartfelt tribute to your brother and his lifetime of ministry and the blessings he and his family have been and will continue to be. I am all teary eyed...and I am thrilled to know that we will all be rejoicing together one day at the great wedding feast!

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  11. Lovely tribute Lovella,
    Continued blessings on your brother and family and may God give him strength to continue to serve Him with joy...

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  12. Thanks for sharing about your brother. As a young pastor's wife, it encourages me to hear how God has been faithful over many years of ministry, through times of joy and also much struggle.

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  13. I have to agree with everyone else; lovely tribute to your brother. I always wanted a brother but never did, Gerry sounds like a great brother to have.

    Congratulations to Gerry. Does this mean he is retiring now?

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  14. How wonderful it was to have Gerry marry Travis & I almost four years ago now. The ceremony absolutely does resound in our hearts and I often find myself thinking about his words on our special day.
    Congratulations on 30 years Gerry.

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Thank you!