One night in early May, Jane and I were out on a routine ride along. Before each ride along we attend the briefing before the officers are dispatched to there assigned beats.
After the briefing we began our ride along and I stated to the Officer that I wanted to ride, until about midnight and that I needed to get home early that night. He said that would be fine. Each ride along is always a pleasure to ride with the officers and this ride along was no different. We had a number of different calls throughout the night, nothing out of the ordinary. Jane was also out that night riding with a different Officer. The evening was calm and quiet and nothing much going on in the city. Frankly, I like quiet nights because it gives me a chance to talk with the officer with no interruptions as we patrol the beat. About midnight he drove me back to the station. figured the night was ending, and that Jane and I would meet up and go home. After we reached the Stationwe were almost immediately dispatched to a situation where 4 deceased bodies were found in a house. When we arrived at the scene we learned there were three murdered people with a fourth body who had committed sucide. Oh my! As the Officer and I approached the house to go inside, the Corporal on the scene asked me to talk with the family, as I was needed there. He kept me from going inside the house. I am so thankful for that and later I told him so. I sure don’t need that memory. The Corporal pointed me to two family members on the outside perimeter. On my way to the family, I spoke with a Sergeant and a Patrol Officer that gave me a quick debriefing of what happened. The Sergeant asked if I would tell the family members that there were four deceased people in the house. I did hesitate somewhat, feeling the gravity of the situation, but knew my job was to give the death notices and comfort the family. In the back of my mind I was praying, I hope Jane is on her way, I need her to help me with this. Matthew 18:20 states, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” That verse came to mind that night. As I approached the family, I quickly ask the Lord to give me the right words to say. The family’s response was overwhelming as I stood there trying to comfort them. Just after I shared this tragic news, I saw Jane walking up the sidewalk with the Officer she was riding with. Wow! I was so happy to see her. In the eleven years we have done this, she is not only my partner in life, but also my partner as a chaplain’s wife. I’ve said it many times that I could not do what I do without her by my side. I am so thankful for her! We stayed with the family for almost 3 hours trying to comfort them in the most tragic time of their life. Psalms 37:23 states, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.” Our steps were certainly ordered y the Lord that night. Praise the Lord we could be there to assist the Officers as well as the family members. We did finally make it home that night and got to bed about 5 AM.
A few days later I received a call from one of the family members asking us to tell their children of deaths of their loved ones. The following Saturday we visited the family and learned that the children were already told of the news. There were about 30 family members and friends. By God’s grace, we tried to comfort them and pray for them. Later, the family requested that we attend the viewing. It was very sobering to see three caskets in the front of the room. This was a tragic situation, but I am glad we could be there. I often say that chaplains have the opportunity to go places where a pastor could not go.
This is not the scene of the accident!
The next day on Sunday night after church, we had stopped at our local market to pick up some groceries. On our way home, we were sitting in the left turn lane waiting for the light to change when we heard a bang sound to our right. We saw a vehicle coming with sparks flying out from under it, out of control, about 10 feet in front of us, moving to our left. It then hit a 3 foot flower planter at the gas station, went airborne about 15 feet hitting the awning of the gas station, then dropped onto 2 gas pumps, knocking them off their foundations. The vehice rolled and landed where you see in the photo. We were watching this as it was happening. I thought we were watching a Hollywood movie! I quickly drove our vehicle over to the gasoline station and parked and ran into the station and told the attendant to turn off the pumps. Jane called 911 while I proceeded to see if I could offer any assistance to the people inside the vehicle. There was no response from the occupant of the vehicle. We waited for the first responders and the police. They ere there within minutes! I was asked to give my statement as a witness to what I saw happen to the police officer. He asked me what my occupation is and I stated I ama police chaplain, the Officer was delighted and I gave hi my card. We learned later that there was only one person in the vehicle. They were able to get him out and rushed him to the hospital and that he was going to be okay. What a blessing for us to be chaplains and have the opportunity to help people when they need it the most.
We are excited about introducing our new 7 minute video about In Pursuit Ministries of California and would love for you to watch it.
Once you open it up you will need to key in the password which is: ministry. Please take time to watch it!
During the month of June we attended our annual FBFI endorser agency’s training held at Faith Baptist Church, Taylors, SC where I was ordained and served on staff many years. It was great to be back. During this time saw many of our chaplains and received some very intense training. During the meetings Dr. John Vaughn showed the video to all of the chaplains as well as the Board of the FBFI. Many of the those who saw it said it was an excellent video. !
Many of you know, we have family that lives in South Carolina. While we attended the FBFI Annual Fellowship meetings mentioned above we had the joy of seeing our children. We met with our daughter, Charmaine, and her two children, our grandchildren, our son Nathan and his wife Rochelle and their new 6 month old, our new granddaughter, Isabel, As you can see in the photos, she is beautiful! It was great to seeour family again after almost 4 years.! ! While we were there we stayed at the Barnabas House mission house owned by Rod & Linda Hochmuth, Nathan’s in laws. We thank you Rod and Linda for inviting us to stay. What a blessing! !
We were also invited to speak at the Westview Baptist Church in North Charleston. Westview Baptist has been supporting us now for over 6 years. Pastor Howell and his wife Mary as well as the church treated us like we were Kings from a far away place. Pastor gave me the whole Sunday to preach and give an update on our ministry including the chance to share our 7 minute video. I hope you will take the time to watch it! They gave us a wonderful love offering to help with our expenses for the trip.
We have not served at the MEPS, Military Entrance Processing Station in El Segundo since last Fall. We have asked many of you to pray that they might invite us back. When we were in South Carolina I received a call inviting me to perform the invocation for the Change of Command Ceremony on June 25, 2014. While we were there we did ask would it be possible to come back on a regular basis? They stated, they will check into it. They certainly would love to have us back and said many times how much they missed us. Please pray we will be able to return. Our new commander is Lt. Col. Robin Branch-Hoeflein, US Army. Obviously we got to meet her and she is a delightful person. Our former commander is Lt. Col Matthew J. McDivitt, US Marine Corp. We will miss him! His new duty station will be Paris Island, SC.
Last June we have served as volunteer Chaplains for 11 years at the Police Department. We praise the Lord for the opportunity to serve!