Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Valuable Lessons Learned From Dad

My Dad with 1st Grandchild in 1973
Lessons Learned From My Dad
(Words in quotations are quotes my father frequently used.  I don't know where he picked then up or if they are his but he is the first I heard use them.)

Note: My parent raised two sons, and at the time of my dad's death he had 6 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren.  Mom preceeded him in death by 4 years.  

Concerning Work:

  • ·      "Hard work never killed anyone."  Needless to say I learned to work hard.
  • ·      "Hard work is honorable.  Son, when you work, work hard, and give your employer his money's worth."
  • ·      "Do whatever is needed, someone has to clean up the poop {we were farmers and dad used a barnyard word for 'poop'}, and never become so educated, high, and mighty that those menial tasks are beneath your dignity."
  • ·      We raised a large garden so we would never go hungry.   Our garden was always large enough to share with the neighbors, because, "We never know when we will be down on our luck and need our neighbors to help us."  [The large garden is not something I carried long into marriage because my wife was not as eager to work a garden as my mom and it was so easy to purchase fresh vegetables from the store.]
  • ·      "Idleness is the Devils workshop" so I learned to always keep busy.
  • ·      "There is always work for someone willing to volunteer" so I learned, as a child, to pitch in and I helped in doing many diverse jobs therefore becoming somewhat knowledgeable in many skills that have been useful in life and in landing me employment.  [Today with all the law suits, child labor laws, insurance liability, etc., etc. I'm not sure this is possible and so children miss out and grow to adulthood and are unemployable, because they do not know how to work, and graduate college with zero work experience.] 
  • ·      When dad would send me after a tool or something, frequently he would shout at me, "Son, get a move on it, I need it today not tomorrow."  I therefore learned to move in a run and I worked hard and fast.  From that habit, many of my workmates and employers have characterized me as a workaholic, but I would not view myself as one.
  • ·      "Get your hands out of your pockets son, you can't do any work with your hands in your pocket."  My brother always claimed he got in trouble more times for standing with his hands in his pocket than for being naughty.  For me though I was a fast learner and still do not often stand around with my hands in my pockets.
  • ·      Dad wanted us up and dressed by 6:30 a.m. because as he said, "I don't want the neighbors to come by after 6:30 and catch us in bed or in our night clothes and think we are lazy."  I am still an early riser and often during the spring I would get up at 4:30 or 5 and do an hour or two of garden work before breakfast and the school bus arrival. 
  • ·      "Whatever you do, make them a good hand, follow instructions, and work hard.  Always do more than the minimum required to get by."

Concerning Generosity:

  • Dad was very generous.  We didn't have a lot a lot but dad was always willing to share what we had.
  • Visitors came around lunchtime, there was always enough to feed 2 or 3 extra.  "We can add more water to the beans," to stretch the food.
  • Any visitor that attended our church would be invited to our Sunday Dinner (that's the noon meal) and we would give them a tour around the Game Farm.
  • College students, coming from BNC (now named SNU) or visiting ministers would leave with a full tank of fuel.  "When you pass through El Reno, stop at Big Jim's Skelly and fill up your tank with gas and tell him to charge it to Clyde Miller." would be dad's admonition.  [Dad had good credit and trusted people and people trusted him.  So even though in the environment of today this seems strange that was the way it was done with my father, not too many decades ago.]

Concerning Honesty:

  • ·      Always tell the truth.  "Son if I ever catch you lying to me you will be in big trouble."  The punishment would be much worse if I lied about something I did and dad found out the truth later.  For lying I would always receive a severe spanking but if I confessed often I would just be talked to without any physical repercussions.   So the lesson I learned was to always be honest.
  • ·      Never break a promise.  "Son, when asked to do something if you can't do it immediately always say, 'I'll try' because if you say, 'I'll do it' and something comes up and you are unable to do what you say, you will break the promise and we never, ever, break a promise."  When dad said, "I'll try" that was good because you knew he'd give his best and try his hardest to accomplish whatever.
  • ·      "Always pay your bills on time and if an emergency comes up go and talk with the creditor to make other arrangements."
  • ·      "Son, a man is only as trustworthy as his word, let your word be your bond, so everyone knows you will back up what you say."

There was a memorable event that happened and I witnessed which made a lasting impression on my life.  My teenage brother wanted to purchase a pickup truck so he could go to work.  I along with dad accompanied him to the used car dealership.  Dad was prepared to co-sign his note.  After my brother selected the vehicle and signed the note, he asked the dealer, "Do you want my dad to co-sign?" 

To which the dealer replied, "No, I don't need you father's signature, I've known your dad a long time and I know the payments will be made, and I don't need his signature to assure this loan." Turning to my dad he asked, "Isn't that right, Clyde?"  My dad answered, "It'll be paid for."  "That's good enough for me", was the reply and the dealer followed with a 15 to 20 minutes lesson or maybe lecture telling my brother how my dad lived a life of unquestionable honesty and integrity and he explained how now at 16 years of age, he would establish good credit, regardless of whomever actually paid the note, because he paid off a signature only loan, and as long as he continues to pay his bills his credit would be good.

Concerning Trust in and relationship with other people:

  • ·      "Trust people unless or until they give you a reason not to trust them."  It was easy for a salesman to take advantage of my father, because he trusted everyone he met until they broke that trust or lied to him.  [How times have changed as now it seems there is a lack of trust.  Dad would also say, "Someone who doesn't trust people without a good reason cannot themself be trusted."] 
  • ·      On a similar note he would say, "Anyone who insists you sign on the doted line you must have every dealing you make with them in writing or it will come back and bite you."  [Again how times have changed.]  So today everything is done in writing, but people still break the written agreement.
  • ·      Dad practiced being quick to forgive and willing to give everyone another chance.

Concerning Assuming Responsibility for Ones Own Actions:

  • ·      "If you break something, even by accident, you must take responsibility to fix or replace it.  You are not in trouble and will not be punished for an accident but you have to make it right." 
  • ·      "If you borrow something take good care of it and return it in as good or better condition than when you borrowed it."  On the same line if a borrowed item was lost or stolen while in our possession we would replace it, so dad never wanted us to borrow something that we could not replace, so we never borrowed anything too expensive, and would usually just make do without or go and purchase what we needed.  Borrowed items would be returned promptly.

Concerning Sassing, back talking, disobedience, etc.: 

  • ·      I quickly learned the meaning of the word "NO".   I learned that if I cried, or complained, my situation went downhill quickly and I was given some uncomfortable lessons to further emphasize what "NO" meant.  [I never tried throwing a temper tantrum but I seriously doubt that would have impressed my father.]  If I cried due to the extra lesson dad would exclaim, "Dry those tears up or I'll give you something to cry about."
  • ·      "I don't ever want to hear you sass your mother again."  Those words were said to my brother, as dad was taking off his belt.  I don't ever remember talking back to or sassing mom.
  • ·      "If you get in trouble at school, you'll get it worse when you get home."

Some other miscellaneous lessons I learned:

  • ·      About Attitude:  "It's better to laugh than to cry."  "Keep smiling."  "Your as young as you feel."
  • ·      About forgetting to do something: "There's no such thing as forgetting."  [Now when dad forgot something and you would remind him of what he always said about forgetting, he would exclaim, "I didn't forget, it just slipped my mind."  We never figured out the difference between "forgetting" and "slipping his mind".]  Anyway when dad gave instructions I tried to not forget especially I did not want to forget to close the gate so the animals would not get out.
  • ·      About fuel in the car: "It costs just as much to keep the top half of the tank full as the bottom half."  I certainly never wanted to bring the car home on 'E' and even if it was 1/4 tank or less he would let me know about it. 
  • ·      About guns: "Son, the one item you never loan to someone else is your gun, and so never ask to use someone else’s gun unless the owner is present."  [The reason for this was one of his uncles spent time in prison because he loaned someone his gun and it was used to commit a crime, killing someone and the firearm was recognized as belonging to uncle and so this uncle did time for this crime he was falsely accused of.]

Note: I learned many other lessons from my dad, but my father was an honest, generous, and hard-working man.  Through his actions as well as his personal character these traits were evident in the life of my dad, who passed away in 2005.

Be one the look out for - Lessons I learned from Mom who was known for her faithfulness and piety.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Church of the Nazarene, Solomon Islands has NEW DS

Dickson Manongi, Named District Superintendent of the Solomon Islands

At the recent District Assembly (Nov 2016) of the Solomon Islands, Rev. Dickson Manongi was ordained and appointed as District Superintendent of the Solomon Islands District.  This is a significant developmental milestone for the Church of the Nazarene in this South Pacific multiple island nation.  As I travel around it is obvious many people, especially in the USA, have not heard of the Solomon Islands, but many have heard of the main island Guadalcanal from WW2 history.

This post is to introduce you to this new District Superintendent, but he is not new to the Church of the Nazarene as he joined the church in 1987, 5 years before the first church was planted in The Solomon Islands, his home country.   This is God's story and His providence in preparing someone to lead in such a time as this.  Please pray for those in the Solomon Islands.

I first met Dickson in Papua New Guinea while visiting the National Referral Hospital.  Within the first 9 months of our arrival in PNG, (1989) I took a trip to Port Moresby the National Capital to visit the hospital.   My purpose was fourfold: I wanted to 1) see the methodology available in the country's best equipped government hospital; 2) meet the staff and see if I could expedite turn-around time for referrals; 3) make contacts and build relationships to obtain supplies when our distribution center was out; & 4) visit with any Lab/X-ray student to recruit a graduating student to come to Kudjip.  I had limited success at best on all of the above but I did meet Brother Dickson Manongi, and tried to persuade him to come and serve his Nazarene Hospital.

Dickson and Doris
It was in 1987 when Dickson and some fellow countrymen were sent to Papua New Guinea, its Melanesian neighboring country, to study laboratory science.   Shortly after arrival Dickson began attending the Nazarene Church, liked it, and soon became an active member.  He was active in the Church of the Nazarene when I as the director of the medical lab at Kudjip Nazarene Hospital, in the highlands of PNG flew down to Port Moresby (POM). Imagine my excitement when I discovered a devout Christian and Nazarene student studying laboratory science.  I just knew my prayers were answered.  I had a great conversation with Dickson in the hospital.   Dickson was engaged at the time of this visit.  Doris, the girl who soon became his wife, was also a Medical Laboratory student, and both were active in the church work.  Success in recruiting Dickson would give me two employees since his wife was also a trained tech.  What a deal!

I returned to Kudjip excited, but that excitement was short lived as Rev. Wallace White, the missionary in POM, got wind of what I was up to and called me on the phone and kindly requested me to keep my eyes and hands off of Dickson.  Wallace said, "I have plans for Dickson to help me open the work in the Solomon's."  Of course I respected my colleague's wishes and never mentioned it again.

Dickson and wife returned home from their time in PNG and in 1992 they established their first church in Dickson's home village of Nukukaisi, Makira Island, which is also the name of the Province. 

On one of our men's retreat, shortly following the opening of the Solomon Island's work and nearing Wallace's retirement.  Some of the men were asking if they could inherit his "boat ministry" or "island ministry" upon his retirement.  Isn't our God a God of irony, because I made the statement in jest, "You guys can have that ministry, since Nancy does not like to swim."  Who would have imagined that we would soon be appointed to the Solomon Islands? 

Dickson never served with me in Kudjip but I served with him for 15 years in the Solomon's.  When we arrived in the Solomon's Dickson told me, "I preach sometimes but I'm not called to be a pastor."  One time in Fiji, Dr. Louie Bustle, then Mission Director, said, "There (referring to Dickson) is your District Superintendent."  People both in the Solomon's and outside the country, saw the leadership skills in Dickson.  I think twice Dickson resigned from all the boards, because when he was on a board, the other members would wait until Dickson made a remark and then agreed with him.  So he voluntarily stepped down so they would have to say something.  However, even when he was off the board his influence was very much present.  Dickson was a serious Bible student and so enrolled in our Bible College so at the time of our move to the Philippines, he only lacked a few courses to graduate.

I remember one time Dickson invited me to accompany him to the Medical Laboratory meeting.   They were discussing Community Based Health Issues or something I was interested in.  Anyway Dickson's boss, the Medical Director of the Solomon Islands, began the meeting by requesting "Pastor Dickson" to pray before the start of the meeting.  I then began noticing a lot of people referred to Dickson with the title of "Pastor".

Dickson is a person of influence.  Dickson is a great Bible teacher and trainer.  I utilized his skill a lot when I served as District Superintendent, calling on him to teach training class, to recruit team members for the Jesus Film Team, and to head up the Community Based Health Care Program.  

There are many of my work mates and members of Solomon Islands Church of the Nazarene who are doing a great job in their various assignments, but in this post I wanted to highlight this one man due to his recent appointment as DS and because of his involvement in the beginning of the work.

Thanks for your prayers.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas is almost here, 2016 is winding down

The rebuilding of Gloria and Scott's home, destroyed in the Tornado of Dec 26, 2015 is almost completed.  It will be hard this Christmas to top the excitement of our last Christmas together. We are not trying to top it, by the way, and we hope we don't go through that type experience again.  However, the tornado helped us to re-evaluate things and assess priorities as to those things that are important.  Our family, who are the greatest and most important, will get together at our home this year.  All four of our children and spouses [of the three that are married] and our 12 grand [very grand] children will all be together in our home that we purchased in Bethany Okla.

This year my "honey" time with my sweetheart of 46 years is spent largely going to the doctor's office, followed by a trip to Braum's.  For those of you not from around here Braum's is an ice cream store.  Their dairy and plant is in a small town of Tuttle, Oklahoma.  Their ice cream is delicious, their milk is really fresh, and the best part for us is that with Nancy's low sodium [salt] diet is they will cook their hamburger after ordering with no added seasoning.

Sunday School Class Dinner (Photo compliments of Arlita Harris, SS Teacher)

Our Church's - Western Oaks - Chile Cook off (photo compliments of  Lydia Diaz Marzouk, NMI Pres.) 
I love going to a church with a multi-racial, multi-cultural, and multi generational congregation.  I love having a colorful church as it reminds me more of what Heaven will be like.

We officially retired 31 October and have been busy getting ready for Christmas.  As we approached retirement we wanted to be involved in ministry, possibly with children or youth.  The last year and half in the Philippines really brought out our passion to help the young people.  We are excited to see what God has in store for us.  We look with anticipation toward the future.  At first it felt a lot like unemployment.   I may have to one day find a real "paying" job.  I'm not adverse to work, in fact I've been called a workaholic before, but from my perspective my entire life I have not worked much, since I have always enjoyed what I have done.  If you are doing something you love it is a hobby but if one earn money on his hobby, what a deal.   "Good Deal", for those who know me and have pointed out that I say that a lot.

Family Update:
Our Grandkids are growing up.  For the older ones, if I'm going to connect with them I have to do it quickly.  Zach is a Junior in Southern Nazarene University and he is the youth minister at Williams Church of the Nazarene near the campus.  He served his freshman and Sophomore years as intern at this church.  They hired him and provided him a home by the church.  I guess he impressed them as their intern.  Gloria is homeschooling the other two boys.  Geoffrey, Gloria's second born, was able to travel with Grandpa to the Pacific Northwest as we toured in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.  I believe this makes the 4th or 5th consecutive home assignment that we have toured the Northwest District, but the first time without my wife.

Our Granddaughter Justus, Greg and Wendy's eldest traveled with Nancy and I to Southern California.  This was not a busy tour, as far as church services go, but it was an awesome time visiting with and connecting with family.  I have cousins that live in the Glendora area.  Justus is quite an artist and loves to draw.  I have a cousin that writes children's books and she was so impressed with Justus' drawing that she has been in correspondence with her to illustrate her books.

Ransom with Grandma and Grandpa
Ransom, Greg and Wendy's second born, was able to travel with Grandma and Grandpa on a tour that took us to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, through Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, before our final assignment in Pittsburg.
(Photo to right - Courtesy of Tami Jaynes when we visited her church in Coshocton, Ohio)

Then Felicity, Geoff and Churie's second born, toured with us as we toured Georgia District.

Our Grandchildren provided excellent service to us.  More than just providing company, they assisted Grandma with her oxygen, wheel chair, and other needs.  Also this provided some time alone with these to really connect.  It was truly valuable time.

Our grandchildren are involved in Bible Quizzing and are doing quite well.  Zach our eldest is now a Teen Bible Quiz Coach.  Justus, Ransom, Geoffrey, Raina, Joshua, and Addie are all in the teen quizzing and Felicity, Tessa, and Elisha are involved in the children's quizzing.

Our children are all active in their local church.  Gloria and Scott and family are members of Richardson, TX, where Gloria works with the children and youth, and also is busy on the district too. Greg and Wendy are active in Lake View Park where Greg serves on the worship team, but also they work with the Bible Quiz team of Choctaw, OK since LVP doesn't have a quiz team.  Wendy serves as the quiz coach.

Geoff and Churie go to Canadian Hills Church in Yukon, OK where Churie is the Children's pastor.  They have just accepted a call to a new assignment.  Geoff will then be the youth pastor and Churie will be the children pastor.

Gary actively attends Lake Overholser Church in Bethany, OK.  One thing you cannot accuse our family of dominating and controlling a church.  Nancy and I have been attending a 4th church.  All of our sons attend churches within a 10 mile radius, or so, of our house.  We are just spreading the "Miller" salt around.

Travel Highlights:
Here are some photo's of the year.  This first photo was taken in Nampa Idaho.  Nancy did not go with me on this trip. I had wonderful Faith Promise at the College Church.   I met up with LaBaron's.  Sarah was an MK in PNG and they came with their 6 children.  We had a wonderful meals and some uncle time.

(This photo taken by Sarah LaBaron)

They have since moved to Oklahoma and don't live far away as they work at Bethany First Church.

Here are some I haven't seen in years.  Danielle, Christopher, and Joseph were young the last time I saw them.  We were with them in Poteau, Okla.  Their parents (not pictured here) were our best friends when we were all together in the Carnegie Church raising our young families. (Photo compliments of Martha Milligan)

Here was an exciting time this year when I was at the East Ohio District Boys and girls camp.  I'm right in my venue.

It was a wonderful time as I took turns eating meals with the different cabins so I could learn the kid's names.

I was able to share the stories.  What fun it was!
(This photo taken from someone on the E. Ohio district.)

Here I am at the Ottumwa, Iowa church in their Faith Promise as we went over the top.  The top candle is for $15,000 and I can't remember the total raised but it was over $20,000 as I recall.

(Photo sent to me from someone at the Ottumwa Church)

Being on the road this year, we have not visited as much as we would like with our extended family.  Some of our family live nearby.  My sister-in-law Sara lives a few blocks away.  We have a niece Christina and husband Bert who also lives a few blocks away.   Sara Jane and husband Brian live about 45 min away where Brian is the Chief of Police in his small town.

Nancy's mother celebrated her 90th birthday this year as we had a celebration for her in Owasso, OK.  Nancy has two living brothers Don and wife Linda in Mt Pleasant, TX, and Chris and wife Sonja in Skiatook, OK.

Don and Linda's:  It was great visiting with our niece Melodie and husband Ben and their three children in Omaha, Neb.  I was following my GPS, touring the Iowa district and as I approached this town I stopped at a rest stop and saw the map and I was near Omaha, Nebraska so I called Ben and Melodie and they attended the service on Sunday Morning.  After service I was planning on driving home but my niece Anne invited me to spend the night.  What great uncle can refuse such a request.  Had a great time.  Julie (the first born) and Phillip and their family live in Mt Pleasant.  Julie is a grandma by her step son.   Seth (last born) and his wife Fatima live in the same town with us.  I was able to give Fatima driving lessons and helped her get an Oklahoma drivers license.  Living overseas, I missed out on the driving school for our youngest sons.

Chris and Sonja's:  We were able to stay in Chris and Sonja's home on a couple of occasions.  I think Sonja has a neat job as she works as a translator for the hearing impaired or deaf children.  She's awesome in her use of sign language.  Their daughter Melissa and husband Adam live next door.  They have quite an assortment of pets (snakes, lizards, as well as the more normal pets Dog and cat).

On Facebook it has been fun reconnecting with friends from a long time ago as well as keeping in contact with current friends.  With Instant Messager it is easy and cheap to see their face and to talk with them live.  But it has also been neat seeing people again face-to-face, where I can give them a hug.  To see adults that were kids I had in children's church 28 or more years ago is wonderful.  One man and his wife I met in the Pacific NW who left Carnegie 40 years ago.   One lady who I found on FB maybe 5 years or so ago and now lives with her husband in Southern Calif, I met while there.

News from the Solomon's:
Dickson and Doris
At the Solomon Islands recent District Assembly in November, the General Superintendent appointed their first local District Superintendent, Rev. Dickson Manongi.  I am in the process of writing a bio about him and when ready I will post it too.

Photo of Rev. Dickson and wife Doris

At this District Assembly in November Dickson was ordained along with 4 others.  These were all my Bible College Students.  I've added their pictures below.  I'm not sure why they are a different size, but it certainly doesn't mean some are less important.

Dickson is the most instrumental in opening the work in the Solomon Islands.


Of these ordinands Dickson and Mairy were the only ones who were members of the Church of the Nazarene when we arrived in the Solomon Islands in August 1999.

Mairy served in many capacities on the district.  She was on the District Advisory Board, the District Treasurer, District Women's ministry President, as well as Children's Sunday School Teacher.  I understand she is now the Bible College Principal.  She served as pastor in one of our churches in the Western Province.  She has also held training classes in Community Based Health Care (CBHC), Women's ministry, and served the Lord wherever needed.

Patricia is pastor on LaVella LaVella island in the Western Province. She is a fireball preacher.  People accurately describe her messages as short and sharp.  The Holy Spirit really uses her to minister to people.  Normally after she preaches the response is dramatic with many coming to the altar for prayer.  Once after she preached her practical in the Bible college class, half of the Bible College Students come forward for prayer.

Patricia and Mairy are the first women ordained as Nazarene pastors in the Solomon Islands, in a country where there are only a few women who are ordained.

Revelation came to our church many years ago now.  He was the member of another church but met our Jesus Film Team when our JFT went to his island and the communication was messed up and providentially the team met Revelation who put together some venues and organized a trip for them.  He traveled with the JFT for many years.  He was pastor of a church near his home.  Then after a church in the Western Province was planted by the JFT, Revelation went as the pastor.  Then he planted another church on his home island
Jeremy is the brother of the Jesus Film Team leader named Jimmy.  The first church planted through the JFT was in an area of Malaita named East Kwaio.  


Jeremy lived there and became the pastor.  This is a very remote area and it required two days travel for me to arrive, including an 6-8 hour hike.  This will make Jeremy the only Nazarene who is an ordained elder in the area.

Please keep the Solomon Islands in your prayer.  I know God is going to do mighty things there through the capable leadership of Bro. Dickson and his team.

Nancy and I have been active in the ARMM (Association of Retired Ministers and Missionaries).  They have a breakfast once a month and a weekly men's prayer breakfast.

I plan to write a post Christmas follow-up letter to this.

At the Right is pictured Hannah in her wedding dress.  She was like a daughter to us in the Solomon's.  She had her church wedding on December 3.  Her son Jolton is now 1 year old.

(Photo compliments of Hannah)

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Memorial to my Dear Friend - Baru

I received a message early thanksgiving morning that my dear friend and "Son in the Lord" passed away.  As I sat in my office and just finished my time of prayer, one of those prayers being for a healing miracle for Baru.  I just turned on the internet and soon afterward a message came in from Mr. Wallace White Kintak, the director of the Nazarene College of Nursing.

Baru lost the battle to Multiple Myeloma but he is in the arms of Jesus.  my prayers are for his wife Christina, the children he has left, and his many relatives and friends.  His administrative skills will certainly be missed in the NHM (Nazarene Health Ministry) and especially around the Kudjip Hospital.

I was so thankful that my son Gary recently was able to visit Papua New Guinea on a Work and Witness trip and was able to sit down with Baru and talk with him.  I have lots of photos and slides of my work with Baru, but they are not digitalized.  

My mind goes back to the first time I met Baru.  As a brand new missionary, I just finished orientation and began the work of overseeing the hospital laboratory/x-ray department, Baru came into my office for an interview.  He submitted application for student enrollment in our MLA [Medical Laboratory Assistant] school to begin in January 1990.  I questioned him about his spiritual life to which he honestly admitted he was not serving the Lord.  I had received the required spiritual reference letter from his brother/pastor and Baru answered my questions truthfully.  Since he told me the truth I considered his application and after a few days praying I felt definite peace about accepting him.  It was during the opening revival that he surrendered his life to the Lord.  As a student he was dependable and honest. 

After graduation Baru served in the Nazarene Hospital lab where I was supervisor.  He married Christina who graduated from our College of Nursing and was working at the Nazarene Hospital. Later Baru went to POM to the National Referral Hospital to receive more advanced training in the medical laboratory work.  When I left after a decade of service to the Kudjip Nazarene Hospital, Baru was back home and our laboratory was able to perform better because we had someone who understood how the country's medical laboratory functioned, but more importantly he knew people and had friends (former teachers and staff) who he could contact and he was able to access services that I didn't know were available.

After my transfer to the Solomon Islands our contact and mutual friendship did not cease.  Within our first year in the Solomon's we returned for 6 months when evacuated from the Solomon's due to civil unrest.  I arrived in time to assist in the setting up of the new x-ray machine and blood cell counter.  
Then I returned in 2006 for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Nazarene Mission in Papua New Guinea.   At that time I stayed in Baru and Christina's home on Kudjip station.  I took this photo at that time.

Shortly after this Baru and Christina built a home near Banz and started a house church which was quite successful.

Then the Solomon Island district invited him to be our evangelist and here is a photo of Baru preaching in the Honiara Zion church.
This photo was taken at the Lunga River near Honiara following a baptism we held in conjunction with the assembly.

Baru led a large number of PNG delegates to the General Assembly in Orlando Florida, having never personally visited the USA.  He contacted me for information since I'd led two previous groups.  I'm not sure how much help I was but he did a great job, and it was certainly exciting seeing him there.  Baru was willing to step out of his comfort zone to attempt new things for the Kingdom.

I accepted an invitation of Baru and Christina in 2010, if my memory is correct, to visit him and celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary and also the organization of their house church.  I searched for photos of that visit but did not find them.  At that time there were 200 people attending their house church.

Later they built this church building and at a single baptism they baptized 75 new believers, making that the largest baptism held by the Church of the Nazarene in Papua New Guinea.

Baru will definitely be missed but his influence will live on in the lives of those he has touched.  He was about investing in the Kingdom.

Please remember to pray for his wife Christina and his other family members as they rebuild their life.  Baru was one who was always there and a stronghold.  His life was shortened, but it was only a miracle of God's grace that he was still alive and active until now, as Baru, had a rugby injury that broke his neck soon after his marriage and he should have been a quadriplegic or dead at that time.  That is another story, but I knew when I saw his x-ray and he had no paralyses or pain that God's hand was upon him.  God had definitely given Baru a second life and he lived it to the full, except he stopped playing contact sports.  I thank God for the memories I have of this man.  Baru is one of my spiritual sons who I had the privilege of walking with, investing time in, and serving together on this earth, and looking forward to being together forever around the Throne of God.