Gentle Readers may recall that the Spring of 2008 was spent in preparation for a prayer team to travel to Poland, and that the team faced an unexpected challenge. Missionary to Poland Shelley (ShelleyinPoland) and short-term team member Lisa's father became gravely ill that March. There were huge prayer chains formed via e-mail across the globe to pray for Ralph, and for his family. Months later, when he returned home, I took a scrapbook documenting the months of his illness and recovery with the prayers of individuals pasted into a book along with the faithful updates sent out by Tammy. That book was a testimony to the power of prayer, but it was a small thing compared to the impact of the man who mentored countless men including my mister. Steve Lucas put it well today saying, "The world has become poorer, and Heaven richer."
Having been part of a team praying for Ralph, a team including two of his daughters praying for Poland, and a smaller team praying for Ralph's daughter Lisa to be blessed with a child, I contemplate an image of Ralph holding the hand of that daughter shortly before the birth of his granddaughter. It is an image that speaks of faith and the power of prayer, and of the legacy of a man who loved God and others.