Hey – it’s me. Just Laurel. And I just want to apologize for not giving you any attention lately. My last blog was the letter to my Pop that I read at his memorial service. My Pop passed away on September the 4th. I still can’t fathom it. But – I should be up and writing more by now, right? Ehhh …. On October 1st, my dear father-in-law was found in his home … he appeared to have been taking a nap and just kept going – straught into the arms of Jesus. Another memorial service to plan. Another hole in our hearts. So we have been busy with Dad’s estate: clearing out his belongings from the house, closing out accounts, getting the house ready to sell, etc. On top of that, there is still ‘normal’ things of life to do: our jobs, service at church, spending times with friends, enjoying the grandson, etc. But Ted and I are doing fine. I don’t know how people get through this (mourning stuff) without faith in God. And I shall be freshening up the blog site and writing again soon. In the meantime, there have been flashes of inspiration that I feel should be shared. Today I want to share with you the awesome notes that people wrote about Ted’s dad. It’s been a month since he’s passed and I think people will want to read these. Ted’s dad, James (Jim) Greshel was very involved with ACCTS (Association for Christian Conferences, Teaching and Service). Ted’s mom Lois was part of this mission work with Jim until she went home to be with Jesus in May of 2014. The following, sent to Ted and his siblings, speaks for itself about their dad, Jim Greshel:
Last week we spent the first session at the ACCTS staff meeting in White Sulphur Springs. PA remembering your Dad (and Mom). After the staff meeting, Bernhard and I flew to the ACCTS Board meeting in San Antonio, TX, where members of the board shared their memories of your folks as well.
It is difficult to capture the spirit of our time of remembering them. There was sadness at his and her parting, but fondness in the many recollections, appreciation for the great contribution they made to the ministry, and joy in the conviction that they are in the Presence of their Lord. The words themselves may not convey the mixed feelings of loss and confident hope, but we thought you might enjoy reading some of the comments that were shared by the ACCTS staff, as well as some by our international partners.
Jim was a true servant for the Lord. He ministered in Korea, the Caribbean, and many other places, working tirelessly on the AMCF handbook, encouraging MCF leaders, and displaying a willingness to go – quite literally – anywhere in the world for God. His humility often concealed the amazing amount of time and attention to detail that he put into all of his work and ministry, and he showed a selfless dedication to prayer that should serve as an example for everyone who knows Jesus Christ. Jim and Lois’ marriage was a living example of what marriage should be – he loved her faithfully and completely to the end. In the story about the paralytic lowered through the roof, it says that Jesus “saw their faith”. How can you “see” faith? Jim showed us how through a life of witness in countless practical ways that continued right up until he went to be with his Savior. He was always cheerful and showed a sacrificial love toward others. He was a friend, a brother, and an example. – Phil Exner, ACCTS Executive Director
Jim Greshel was a wonderful man of God. He consistently kept me informed on the progress on the AMCF manual, even up to his last day when he emailed me an update. – General Srilal Weerasooriya, Sri Lanka, AMCF World President
I’ve been in Jim’s home, we had him in our home, and earlier this year we ministered together in four islands. Jim and Lois were personal friends, but also friends to the military Christian fellowships in the Caribbean region, which he was responsible for. I had been trying to call Jim for several days until one day his son answered the phone and told us that he had passed on. When I went to his funeral, a lady I’d never met ran over to me and said, “Nestor! I am Terry, Jim’s daughter. We have your picture at our house and pray for you every day!” – Nestor Ogilvie, Grenada, AMCF Vice President for North America
I miss Jim! Because of the distance, I had not too many chances to be with him, but he was an example of a good husband. Lois always helped as much as she could, too, and the way he treated her and honored her was touching. Both of them involved each other. I feel honored to have worked with him on the manual, which will be his legacy. – Gina Rajah, ACCTS’ Brazilian staff member
I was in awe of Jim, since he had flown into hurricanes during his career. He helped take away my fear of flying after he told me that bumps on the plane were just like potholes on a road. He was calm-spirited, generous, and never angry. – Monsie Ogilvie, Barbados
Jim was an extremely faithful servant, hard-working, and helpful to MSO in so many ways. He was a humble man of God, and MSO sent a collection of remembrances of Jim collected from the many people in the Far East who knew and respected him. – General Yoon, MSO Executive Sectretary, South Korea
The last time I corresponded with Jim was just a few days before his death. He was such a gentle man, and a gentleman. He was always smiling. He was patient, kind, humble. He worked for the Lord to the very end. – Jos McCabe, MMI Executive Director, United Kingdom
We were with Jim just a few weeks ago in Japan. He was such a vibrant man, and one of my heroes and will always be. We’d ministered with him at the World Conference in South Africa, in South Korea in June, in Japan, and he was scheduled to go to the Philippines and Vietnam with me. He’s my hero because he finished well. – Rick Ryles, Asia region staff member
Jim was incredibly generous to anyone he met, including ACCTS. One thing that was uniquely “Jim” – he never said “good-bye” on the phone. He just hung up, and the next conversation we had was just a continuation of the previous one! – Bernhard Kaltenbach, ACCTS Deputy Director
Lois endured lots of pain and so much difficulty, but she was always a trooper and wanted to be independent. Jim was very caring and considerate of her and her disability. – Cheryl Kaltenbach, staff member
I was just with Jim at Mike Paterson’s farewell dinner at a military base in Portsmouth, England, held in early September. Jim also came over to Great Britain for the weekend, and stayed with Linda and me, Bernhard and Cheryl, at the home of Jos and Ruth McCabe. Jim touched lives all over the world. He was someone to emulate, as he was always calm, cool, and collected. I will miss Jim very much. – Dick Barnes, Eastern Europe region staff member
Jim’s faithfulness stands out to me. I hear God saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” – Cal Dunlap, staff member and former director
Bette and I met Jim and Lois in Japan and incorporated them into a Bible study. They both attended the 1994 World Conference, then Jim went to Ukraine with ACCTS. He was so excited about Ukraine that he considered living there, but instead God used both of them around the world. – Dell McDonald, staff member and former Director of ACCTS.
Jim and Lois were very important members of our Interaction team. We will really miss them. – Bob Reifsnyder, ACCTS’ Latin America staff member
Jim helped us so much for our 2007 Interaction South West Pacific. His bright personality and commitment to the Lord had a great impact. – Russell Bielenberg, ACCTS’ Australian staff member
Both the Greshels came to Australia in 2007 and even with Lois’ arthritis, she helped and served as much as she could. Jim always cared for her. – Helen Bielenberg, ACCTS’ Australian staff member
Jim, along with Dick and Linda Barnes, was a guest in our home during Interaction in the early 2000s. He exuded joy in the Lord. – Pete Prindle, ACCTS Director of Operations
Jim was such a dear man, and so devoted to his precious wife, Lois. Rejoicing with him now that they are reunited! However, his joyful spirit will certainly be missed. – Doris Mincks, staff member
We miss Lois and now we miss Jim. What a godly couple, and so much fun to be with on Interactions and staff meetings. What a wonderful way to enter into the very presence of our God and Savior. – Jonie Snow, retired staff member
We are deeply saddened at the news of Jim’s death, what an exceptional soldier for the Lord. We will always remember him for his kindness, love and support over all these years. – Diane Louwrens, South Africa, Global Interaction coordinator.
We could not capture all of the comments that people made about your parents, but I hope that this reminder of the impact that they had in ACCTS will comfort you as you reflect on your own memories of this dear couple you called Mom and Dad.
I have no doubt that when Jim reached heaven, he was greeted with “well done, good and faithful servant.”