My husband is on his way to Alaska to be with his mother and family. It is apparently time for her to be with Jesus in the heavenlies. My mother-in-law has been a tremendous light to so many people during her lifetime, and I know that while there will be earthly sorrow when she dies, there will also be great rejoicing over a life that has been well-spent.
My husband was born and raised in Nome, Alaska. His parents were missionaries to the Eskimos for many, many years, faithfully serving the Lord Jesus in a place that so few would dare to call home. Among the many ministries in which this couple served in Nome was the Cocoa House. The Cocoa House was an after-school program filled with love, Bible stories, games…and hot cocoa. Mrs. B was always there with a smile and encouraging word for the children who visited the Cocoa House.
The family also sent out Gospel Floats–gospel tracts, originally placed in bottles, and set out in the frozen Bering Sea until the ice melted and the currents carried them away. In later years, they used a type of plastic that could be sealed. It was amazing to hear reports of people finding these floats all around the world. One report was of a man who was about to commit suicide, but was distracted by something bobbing in the water…he found the float and opened up the bottle to find a message of Good News. That day, the man experienced salvation of both his physical life, and more importantly, his soul. Reports of people coming to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through these Gospel Floats encouraged not only the Bachelder family, but Christians all around the world.
About the time Nathan and I were engaged, the ministry expanded to include the TLC Bible and Bookstore. The new ministry brought more Bibles and Christian materials, music and books into the little town in the middle of nowhere. This bookstore was also a resource for the communities surrounding Nome, some only accessible by airplane. Imagine how many lives were touched through the ministry of a bookstore providing encouragement, love and new life? How many children were impacted through Sunday School materials, music, videos, dvds…
About six years ago, both my mother and mother-in-law were diagnosed with breast cancer within a matter of three weeks. Both women battled their cancer with grace. My mother went through chemotherapy but my mother-in-law was spared that portion of the battle. A few years later, my mother-in-law was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. She was about 85 when she received the diagnosis. Over the last several years, she has responded well to her treatments, although her eyesight was severely impaired by Macular Degeneration. She reduced her hours at the bookstore, and found new ways encourage others, and thoroughly enjoyed having her grandchildren around her. People to whom she had ministered, were now ministering to her.
While it is a sad time for all of us who love Grandma B, it is also a time of celebrating a life dedicated to serving her Savior. She has lived her life for the Lord, and is ready to see Him face to face.
15Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.