I grew up in a very small town named Blanford, Indiana and went to a church much like Advance. I always referred to it as… “the little brick church in the cornfield” because that is where it was located. In the middle of a cornfield in the middle of nowhere. I cherish my memories and the people from that place and time. I am truly thankful and grateful for those who played their role in becoming who I am today.
One couple, Chet and Jeannette, are two that I will forever hold dear because they showed me the way to live my faith. During my Jr. High years, they not only lead me in youth group, but they also welcomed me into their home and into their family. I now have 40 years of memories of them at every stage of my life - the big events and the small ones as well. A few months ago, I was so thankful to introduce my grandson, Spencer to them. It was a special time.
They walked this life in obedient love of Jesus and following the will of God wherever it led and in whatever way He called them to help whomever He brought their way. They gave so much to the children and the families of the church.
They taught me how to live my faith, beyond my belief, in action. When I first entered Youth ministry, they became my example. - I wanted to do for others, what they did for me.
They also brought me into their family. I became their son, brother, cousin, uncle and friend to each generation that has come. This family has not only grown in numbers, but continued to grow in faithful service to God all because of the faith that was nurtured and exampled by Chet and Jeanette. If my count is right, their family includes 4 ministers, besides me, and many other dedicated servants to God.
I don’t want to project their perfection or sainthood, but they were wonderful examples of Jesus. What God did through them is just amazing. It is the same that he can do through our lives as well. God has used Chet and Jeannette to not only grow in their faith, but also to grow their faith of all those around them.
Today, as I write this, I mourn the passing of Chet as he passed into glory on January 22nd. He was 93 years old. He is survived by his wife of 72 years, 4 children, 11 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren. His legacy of faith goes beyond his family to all of us he touched by His witness. His witness will last beyond his years on this earth.
Well done, Chet! Thank you for sharing your faith and time with me. I rejoice in your eternal reward!