JUNE 2007

Dear friends who hold up our arms,

We wanted to share with you some snippets from my Mom's recent passing. Much of this is at our new family web site, www.beallfamily.org We encourage you to register to see more pictures, as well as update you on other "goings ons" for the Bealls.

Tribute To Nana

Mom moved in with us late Thursday evening, April 5th. We were so blessed with so many special memories of what turned out to be her last two weeks on earth. On Bernie's birthday, April 20th, she died in our home in the room she dubbed "Nana's room" two Christmases ago when she first came for a visit to our new home. We were all present except Bernie when she breathed her last. It was a grueling two weeks, probably the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, but so very precious. Sarah was my 'Aaron,' holding up my arms, and getting a crash course in nursing care. We loved Nana home to be with Jesus. Each day we had her, we suffered the loss of something. But I believe as we saw her deteriorate here, she was growing stronger day by day in her eternal spirit. Each loss here, represented a gain there. A dear friend sent me this verse, and I saw it in new light, applied to my dear Mommy.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

She ate and drank less and less, then couldn't really talk anymore, then could barely move, or even open her eyes. After that there were still pats and squeezed hands. But we trusted the Lord that each loss here was a gain for her in the Kingdom of God.

We had no idea her time here would be so short, although we knew she was in her last days. She kept her sense of humor as long as she could communicate with us. We told her to ring her bell or call for us, and not try to go to the bathroom by herself as she was so weak. One night, when I went in to check on her, she was already in her bathroom, and looked up at me and said, "Caught me!" with her sweet trademark smile. That gives you a peek at her determined spirit. The picture below was taken only 12 days before she died. She looks so good. But what you can't see is that it took a walker, a stair lift, a wheelchair, and two adults to transfer her to get her to that chair. She was extremely weak in the flesh, but extremely strong and determined in her spirit. That day, Easter Sunday, when I went in to see her in the morning, she motioned to me to look out the window, to see the Easter sunrise. Then she told me she had some difficulty sleeping, because every time she closed her eyes she saw a pleasant scene, but when she opened her eyes she saw something completely different. I told her to tell me what she was seeing.She told me she had seen Jesus. Twice. And the second time was just then, as I was sitting with her. I cried, and told her to tell me what he looked like. She said, "Kind of gray and hazy, looking at us with his arms reaching out." I said, through tears of course, "You get to see Him, I have to wait!" She said, "But you will come later." This was all the morning before this picture was taken. When I told the hospice nurse about it, he said that usually when people see things like that, they are about 10 days to 2 weeks away from death. She lived 12 days more.

nanaWhen she was nearing the end, and not talking anymore, I told her that since we couldn't understand her anymore, she should pray and tell Jesus to help us know what she wants or needs. She replied to that with a "mmmm" of acknowledgement. She would see things that we couldn't see, and describe them while she was still understandable and able to talk. One of the things she told Sarah she saw above her was water. I was reminded of the classic "Pilgrim's Progress", where John Bunyan likens death to the crossing of a river, and the depth of the water would vary with the individual who was passing over. It was not the same for all. Although Mom has strong faith, I didn't want her to be afraid at all. I felt impressed to tell her Jesus would carry her over the water. She died so peacefully, I believe He did.

At the very end, she opened her eyes wide as she took her last breaths. I held her, and told her, sobbing of course, that I loved her, and that it was OK. She said something back to me, three words I think, not really discernable. But I will forever believe she said "I love you" back to me before her final exhale. I know I will see her again. But in the meantime, I cry lots. I miss her so much. Every thing seems to remind me of her. But I know grief is for a season, and I am so grateful for the precious privilege we had of having her here with us in her final weeks, to travail as in labor pains for her birth into her new body, pain free, and sin free in Heaven with her precious Savior and Lord.

Mom knew Handel's Messiah well, and so we played it and sang these verses from it to her in her final week. When she was still able to move, she was moving her feet to the rhythm. Here are some of the lyrics (God’s Word!) ...

“For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. And though worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God!”
~ Job 19:25-26

“For now is Christ risen from the dead, the first fruits of them that sleep. Since by man came death . . . even so in Christ shall all be made alive!”
~ I Cor. 15:20-22

“Behold, I tell you a mystery, we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed! In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. The trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed . . . for this mortal must put on immortality.”
~ I Cor. 15:51-53

“Oh death, where is thy sting? Oh grave, where is thy victory? But thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!”
~ I Cor. 15:55, 57

Tours and Travelers

bike tour We had a beautiful day and nice weather for our Christian Heritage Bike Tour at Harper's Ferry! Knowing Harper's Ferry, I was a bit nervous about how Bernie would safely navigate the town with a bunch of bikers, since it is not legal to bike on the sidewalks. But he figured out a great route, avoiding cars and the main street until the very final 100 yards or so. Bernie is amazing! He shared lots of the history and spiritual lessons for us today, as well as gave out tracts along the way, including an article entitled,“Revival in the Camp.”

The week after Mom's passing, we had the privilege to host some friends, all who are doing mission work with Family Mission International in Korea. Bernie serves as the stateside director for FMI, so it was really good to log some time with these faithful saints who labor in South Korea, and get more of a first hand picture of what is going on there. We are working here to find more families interested in going to Korea to help with family discipleship. These visits were significant and strategic in the overall moving forward of ministry on various fronts.

It is our prayer that our home on Jeffrey Lane is a place where all our guests would experience God’s peace, whether they are missionaries passing through, Christian friends or unsaved neighbors. Jeffrey, in fact, means “God’s peace”!!

brad and jooyoungBrad and Jooyoung visited for a few days. Here they are posing with the David Cox family at a party we hosted in their honor. Brad Voeller is the founder and director of FMI. He has recently begun a courtship with Jooyoung!

kim familyA few days later the Kim family was with us. Pastor Kim is the pastor of a fairly large church in Korea, and has just received his Doctor of Divinity from Regent University. He has a sweet wife, Joy, and three precious children. It was an honor to host them in our home. Here the Kims are singing for us. Beautiful!

pent familyThe Pent family is back from 6 months in Korea, and some of them (they have 9 children total) were in our area for their oldest daughter's wedding shower, and FMI meetings. They also came to our home to visit with the Kim's. After a short hike down into the park area right next to our house, we all had a special time of prayer together.

Please pray as I (Linda) and all of us (including Linda’s brother Dan and his family), continue to process our grief and settle out Mom's estate, as well as keep up with ministry and life in general. We need an added measure of endurance and grace.

We love you all dearly,
Linda for the Bealls

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”
~ John 14:27