Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Celebrating Mr. Wendall

As a follow up to last week's post about our weekend in Coban I wanted to share some photos from the special service we attended for a dear man that we greatly loved.  Mr. Wendall  Parker was a retired IMB missionary who passed away earlier this year.  He spent many years serving among the Kekchi people group.  They are the people group we initially came to work with when we arrived on the mission field.
our Team Kekchi
us, the Parkers, the McGriff's (our supervisors), and Ms. Fran (our Kekchi language teacher)

Mr. Wendall and Mrs. Jane, although retired at the time, continued to return for several months out of the year to continue the work.  They were with us during our first five months in Coban and returned again each year that followed.   They were great mentors and taught us much about the Kekchi people and culture.  They modeled how to love people, care for people, and just sit and listen to people share their hearts.
David and Mr. Wendall visiting in a Kekchi village in the Lanquin area

Our apartments were connected and often times we would hear them praying, singing, and reading the Bible out loud together.   That is a memory I will always treasure.  Their marriage was a great testimony for all to see.  The way they loved each other was just precious.  They were role models for us in many ways and were placed in our lives at a great time.  One of the best things they did was model the missionary life before us.  We could read and study a lot about it but seeing it lived out in their lives taught us so much.

Mr. Wendall left a great legacy among the Kekchi people.  He was loved and admired by each and every one.  Many lives were touched because of him and many will be in Heaven one day because of him.  His testimony will live on because of the investment he made in people and we will forever be thankful to God that we were two of the lives who were touched by him.
us with the Parkers at the Baptist property in Las Casas that they helped build

One of Cruz's favorite memories of Mr. Wendall is them playing baseball together at our house in Camotan.

Our last visit with them was back in December 2013 when we traveled to Georgia to see them while on Stateside Assignment.

It was good seeing Mrs. Jane again over the weekend and getting to spend a little time with her.  Her daughter LeAnne and Mr. Wendall's sister-in-law Leslie were also there.  Before going to the service on Sunday morning we all enjoyed breakfast together at our hotel in Coban. 

Mrs. Jane loves our boys and prays for them often.  It blesses my heart to know that!  Here she is spending time with Cruz before breakfast as they read a book together.  This picture is precious to me.

Our desire as Christians is to live like Christ but I am also thankful for earthly role models that help shape our lives as well. 

Mrs. Jane and the boys

The service took place at the Baptist church in Coban.  This church was just around the corner from where we all lived in Coban.  We considered it our Guatemala home church when we lived there and often attended when we were not out visiting other churches.

Mrs. Jane sharing during the service.

The Parker's daughter sharing during the service.

Their daughter LeAnne had a reprint of some Kekchi hymnals done and added a memorial of her parents inside.  Mr. Wendall loved music.

After the service there was a long receiving line to visit with Mrs. Jane.  We all sat patiently and watched as each one passed by and shared words, thoughts, and memories with her.

Afterwards we all walked to our old Baptist property and shared a meal together.  The Kekchi have purchased the property and have begun a total renovation of it.  You would not recognize it at all- from the inside or the outside.

This is the outside of the property now.  You can still see the corner of the McGriff's house off to the left.  They no longer own that property, just the side of the property where we lived.  The area behind the wall where it used to be our parking and the beautiful yard and garden area is now completely closed in.  They have a ceiling that goes all the way to the back of the property.  They gutted the apartments and rebuilt rooms.   It is completely different!   Their plan is to eventually make the building four stories tall with plenty of classrooms and meeting areas.  That is a big goal of theirs but if you know the Kekchi when they put their minds to something it might take a while but they will get it done.  We are excited for the new life in the property but at the same time it made us a little sad to see how much it had changed. 

Our group enjoying a traditional Kekchi meal of broth soup with chicken, rice, and vegetables.  We also had tortillas and a corn drink.  It had been a long time since we have been served a Kekchi meal and I think it tasted better than I have ever had it.  It just brought back a lot of fond memories as we sat around the table and ate together.

our delicious lunch

LeAnne and Mrs. Jane

We will always be thankful that we were able to be there to share in this special occasion.  We were sad because we miss Mr. Wendall but we rejoiced greatly as we celebrated the full life that he lived.  He is gone but not forgotten.  His legacy will live on for many years to come.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Related Posts with Thumbnails