Nr.187 ended with, “I doubt whether this man had ever heard the gospel, but he sure did that afternoon as I did not beat around the bush, but as I was speaking I sure wondered what his response was going to be…………….!” (See richardandmarina.net).
A reception was held after the meeting and the Mayor came to me and thanked me for my words, he was very positive, incredible! His wife was really enthusiastic and thanked me several times, telling me how much she had enjoyed everything, especially my speech. I asked her whether she had a Bible, which she didn’t, so she went home with one. She told me that a few times while ironing clothes, she had watched the Evangelical Broadcast from Holland. The seed has been sown, eternity will reveal what has happened to it. In the entrance hall a plaque is on the wall with the words: “On May 5, 2000, this building of the Evangelical Christian Church was officially opened by Mr. Frank Beke, Mayor of the city of Ghent.” We praised God for this. And so, rejoicing in the Lord we went on with the work of the Lord.
When one is busy and has much to do, time just flies and two years were gone in no time. In August 2002 we went back to Canada for our 40th wedding anniversary. This time we had our second daughter Lily and her husband, Bart, plus their three daughters come over too, this was the first time for them. Our youngest daughter Rini was living in Israel at the time and was not able to come. Rosa, who was still fairly well at that time, together with Carol, Marina’s youngest sister, who lived in Chatham, ON, planned the whole party. It was such a wonderful time in every way and we all thanked God for His blessings.
While Lily, Bart and the three girls returned to Belgium, Marina and I stayed to speak in different assemblies in Ontario and then drive west, holding meetings along the way in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, while also visiting family. The meetings and visits were all lined up and we were going to be starting out shortly after September 15, our wedding date. On that day we drove to an assembly in Ethel about 45 minutes from us. I was to speak there that morning. We started with the Lord’s Supper and different ones took part. Then the bread and cup were shared to remember the Lord Jesus. After that the collection plate was passed around to receive gifts of thanksgiving. Marina looked at me and saw that my head was down, my eyes were closed and my face was as white as a sheet and when she touched my arm, it felt as cold as ice. Thinking I had another heart attack, she jumped up and cried out, “My husband is dead……………!” (Go to Musings).