It's been that kind of year. It's hard enough trying to live day-to-day in the aftermath of Katrina, church gone, half our membership gone, etc. But personal tragedies seem to be following us these last few months.
First, losing my seminary classmate and friend, Larry, on Palm Sunday. Then in May my dear Aunt Sharlie died with my wife and I at her side. And the last 5 weeks I have been part of 4 funerals, two for parishioners. 10 days ago I buried a member I had come to know through my wife serving as her hospice nurse. She ended up joining my church and we all became close as she battled her terminal illness. She lost what little she owned in Katrina and spent her last year in a nursing home far away from her beloved Gulf Coast.
Then, yesterday we said goodbye to Tommy, our head usher and all around good guy. Challenged somewhat physically and mentally, Tommy was an inspiration to us all (if you get a chance click on that link and read the article).
Then today, more terrible news. Our beloved friend, Ann Jones-Tutor, of Southaven passed away. Ann was a native of England and a long, long time participant on our annual Honduras Medical Mission. She was my prayer partner on two of those trips and accompanied my wife on all of her trips there (close to 10). She was a nurse and a joy to be with. She died from complications following knee surgery, of all things!
It's been a tough run of late, folks. Keep us in your prayers.