Cynthia left 4 months ago

Thanks again for praying for my health, I am completely over the shingles and am even back near my old energy levels; although I’m still on a reduced schedule because several have warned me that it can return if stress levels get too high.  I taught in 2 of our schools in Lausanne last week, and gave a seminar in Burtigny last weekend on the theme “Toward a New Reformation” based on lessons from 16th-century Geneva.  This week Maureen and her team are beginning our new Executive Master’s MA program with a group of mature students, so I’m spending time with them.  I know many since they are long-time leaders in our mission, so it’s fun for me to have them here.  Tuesday I taught them in my garden about Principles of Spiritual Development from the plant world.

Below is the poem that was printed in the program of Carolyn Gay Malmstadt’s memorial service last Friday; Jon found it in a file of poems that she had kept.  It is apparently quite well known, but I had never seen it; and I couldn’t find the author’s name, either.  But it was certainly written by someone who had walked through that dark valley of the shadow; and the last stanzas are a powerful encouragement for those of us who remain here below.

Blessings on you all,

Tom

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SAFELY HOME

I am home in Heaven, dear ones;
Oh, so happy and so bright!
There is perfect joy and beauty
In this everlasting light.

All the pain and grief is over,
Every restless tossing passed;
I am now at peace forever,
Safely home in Heaven at last.

Did you wonder I so calmly
Trod the valley of the shade?
Oh! but Jesus’ love illumined
Every dark and fearful glade.

And He came Himself to meet me
In that way so hard to tread;
And with Jesus’ arm to lean on,
Could I have one doubt or dread?

Then you must not grieve so sorely,
For I love you dearly still:
Try to look beyond earth’s shadows,
Pray to trust our Father’s Will.

There is work still waiting for you,
So you must not idly stand;
Do it now, while life remaineth-
You shall rest in Jesus’ land.

When that work is all completed,
He will gently call you Home;
Oh, the rapture of that meeting,
Oh, the joy to see you come!

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Cynthia’s Mother is with the Lord

101 days after Cynthia left us, Carolyn Gay Malmstadt departed to be reunited with her husband, Howard, and her daughter Cynthia. While having dinner on Saturday evening with her son Jon, God called her home and she was released from her suffering here on earth.  I agree with Marie that they must have had an amazing reunion in Heaven, and we can be sure that Cynthia was insisting to the angels that she was going to organize the hospitality.

This event is actually an answer to prayer; ever since Howard’s passing in 2003, Carolyn talked of her longing to join him in Heaven.  We prayed increasingly, especially the past three years as her difficulties increased, that the Lord would take her quickly and painlessly.  Over three months ago she became too weak to talk much at all, and the past two weeks had difficulty in breathing.  But the Lord was faithful, and she went with no pain or protracted suffering, and did not have to spend a day in a hospital or nursing home.

Please do remember the family in prayer as this is another great loss; a beloved aunt of Cynthia’s passed away too, about the same time she did.  Pray especially for Cynthia’s brother  Jon who is alone in Michigan and has cared for his mom around the clock for many years.  Plans are in process for a memorial service and burial.

Thanks so much,

Tom