Saying Goodbye to a faithful servant

Nathan in Nome

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.

Bering Sea and Sledge Island off the coast at Nome

Reindeer outside Nome

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…

True Life in Christ Bible and Bookstore


Nathan and Grandma at the Cabin in Nome

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.

Psalm 116:15

 15Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.


13 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye to a faithful servant

  1. Not sure if the end has arrived, but Janet and I send our condolences, and comfort to each of you. The Lord will bless even more as the days go by. Of course, we all look for that blessed day soon to arrive when we will all be together!!

    • Nathan arrived earlier today in Anchorage and was with Marvel (his sister) on their way to see her. Our daughter, son-in-law and grandson are arriving tomorrow–hoping Grandma B will get to see her youngest great grandchild, Isaiah Benjamin. Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness. Looking so forward to Glory!

  2. Thanks for sharing these beautiful memories. My prayers are with you and your family at this time. May the memories and peace of God be with each and every one! Take care!

  3. Reblogged this on momtoldmetowriteabook and commented:

    My mother-in-law rallied for several months after I originally blogged this post. Nathan was able to return to Alaska over the summer and spent a wonderful week with his dear mom. This morning, she awoke in the presence of the Lord Jesus, her Savior, whom she served so very faithfully throughout her lifetime, touching so many with her kindness and love. We do not grieve as those who are without hope. She is with her Creator and Savior, and we are thankful for the hope that we have in Him.

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