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Saturday, June 16, 2007

A Letter...

This is a letter my husband shared with our congregation a few months ago that he had written to a dear man and his wife who had influenced his life and lead him into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ at a very young age. Never underestimate the influence you can have on the life of a young child. The love that this man and his wife gave to a young boy not only impacted his life for Christ, but has now gone on to impact everyone who he shares the gospel with weekly as a Pastor.

Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven." And he laid his hands on them and went away. Matthew 19:13-15 (ESV)

Dear Papa Kiemel,

You probably don’t remember me. I was 4 or 5 when we met. You were the Pastor of the Nazarene Church in Hayward, California. My family had recently moved to this community and began attending your church.

I remember one sunny Sunday afternoon when you invited our family to come to your home for lunch. You had a globe and so many interesting items and pieces of artwork from all over the world. They were from places where you and or your daughters had shared the Gospel. As a very young boy, I had no idea what that really meant at the time. I did know that it must be something special and important.

I have another memory of you and Mama Kiemel. I remember that you did not have a TV that worked well, toys or other kids to play with. I realize now that it was because you both were older at the time and that you had no grandchildren yet. Well toys or no toys, playtime buddies or not, TV or no TV, I always longed to come to your home.

I longed to come to your home because it was one of the few places I could go, outside of being with my own family where I felt so loved and where I did not stand out as the white kid in a brown family. You see Papa and Mama Kiemel, I was adopted as a baby, yet you never treated me as the scarlet-letter child. The genuine love you gave to a scared and confused little boy opened the door for me to trust in the love of my Heavenly Father that my Dad and Mom so wanted me to personally know and love.

I asked Jesus into my heart shortly after we moved from Hayward at a VBS my Mom and her friend put together because I wanted what you had and what you gave me.

As a pastor, I am sure you wondered at times if the two of you made a difference in the lives of the people you shared your life with. How many of your prayers for other people actually stuck and resulted in fruit for the Kingdom. Well, I just wanted you to know it made a difference in my life. For 35 years I have anchored my heart on the same Jesus that shined and radiated out of both of you.

I regret that I did not get a chance to say thank you to you in person before you both went on to be with Jesus. Please accept this belated gratitude from the kid you allowed to call you Papa and Mama.
In Him...Chris
Visit Chris at her personal blog Come to the Table

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Blogger Denise said...

How very beautiful, thanks for sharing.

June 16, 2007 at 2:09 AM  
Blogger Natalie Joy said...

What a beautiful testimony to this couple's faithfulness to God and His ministry. Thanks for sharing.

June 16, 2007 at 2:47 PM  
Blogger Cyndi said...

What a precious reminder, and a beautiful picture of how receiving little children in Jesus' name is receiving Him. Thank you so much for sharing this letter!

June 17, 2007 at 1:01 PM  
Blogger Laurel Wreath said...

This is breathtaking, and as adults I think we need to do this more often (write letters to people who have made a difference).

June 17, 2007 at 5:11 PM  
Blogger The Preacher's Wife said...

Whether your husband had a chance to share this to these dear ones in life or not, I am somewhat certain they now know clearly...What a precious letter!


June 18, 2007 at 12:13 AM  
Anonymous Lynn said...

Oh Chris,

I have tears in my eyes as I finish this letter. I can't wait to me you and your husband one day.

To read your husband's words gives me such encouragement. I will hang in there and continue to pray for my spouse and wait for the day that he too, might write a letter such as this to the person who shared Jesus with him.

Loved this. Please thank your husband.

June 19, 2007 at 4:38 PM  
Blogger Darlene said...

Chris, it really makes me realize that everything we do may impact another life in some way. This is such an awesome letter. Thanks for sharing it. :)

June 19, 2007 at 9:57 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

What a beautiful letter your husband does, indeed, remind me that our lives can touch so many others- and that touching just one may lead to touching hundreds.
And for those of us who still have the chance, to thank those that have touched our lives while they are still with us.
Thank you for sharing this with us all, Chris! Your husband sounds like such a tender man of God.

June 21, 2007 at 6:49 PM  

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It is good to hear from you... thank you so very much for leaving a note on the table. That makes us smile!

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