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23
Rogers Update 3/22/2020
March 23, 2020
Dear Friends,
 
When I stepped off the plane in Fairbanks, Alaska, in the middle of the night, I remember thinking, ‘I forgot how cold it could be up here!’  Well, it was the middle of the night, and that didn’t help temperature wise either.  It was the last of February and the winter was one of their coldest.  (At least several shared that with me.)  That Sunday, March 1st, I started the series on prophecy titled “Return of the King” at Hamilton Acres Baptist.  I have taught on the subject both in sermons and Sunday School throughout the ministry that God has given to me, but this was the first time putting together the material in an actual Bible Conference.  I started off teaching the children on the book of Revelation in Sunday School, and that was a lot of fun!  The Morning message was on my favorite passage in the Bible, Revelation 4 & 5, “Worth is the Lamb!”  From Sunday night to Friday night, we looked at the many different aspects of Christ’s return.  I had a great time with a lot of excellent questions.
 
The following Sunday, I spoke at Pioneer Bible Church in North Pole, Alaska.  It is always fun to spend time with their pastor, Marshall Hamilton.  I was scheduled to be at McGrath Road Baptist the following Sunday, March 15th.  Tuesday, March 10th, Beabea called me from Indiana with urgent news about her mom.  My mother-in-law, Lillian Stoner, was in the hospital again.  This time was different.  The doctor warned Beabea that she should prepare herself because there was very little chance of her mom leaving the hospital alive.  Beabea and I talked it over, and I could tell in her voice that she was fairly certain that the doctor was right.
 
Several years back when my dad went to heaven, Beabea and I were in Fort Yukon, an Alaskan Native village just above the Arctic Circle.  (My mom had proceeded him four months earlier on Christmas day.)  My parents had told me many times that no matter where I was in the world, they did not want me to stop ministry and come back for their funeral.  After talking it over with my brother and sister, it was decided that I would stay and finish covering for the missionary who was reporting back to churches.  Now, as I talked with Beabea about her mom, I knew this was not the same as before.  First, to make that decision for myself was one thing, but to not be with my wife during this difficult time would not be right.  As I considered the situation, I could see God’s timing.  I was now suppose to house sit for a pastor and his family while they went on vacation.  Pastor Dan at McGrath Road Baptist told me I should feel free to go be with my wife.  Later, he told me that pieces were coming together without me, and I felt relieved.  After McGrath Road Baptist, I was scheduled to be at Kenny Lake Chapel in southeast Alaska for about two weeks.  The leadership at Kenny Lake were very gracious and allowed me to reschedule in June.  (Later on, because of the coronavirus, they shared with me that they had made the difficult decision not to hold services during the time I would have been there.)  God was guiding.  I needed to trust Him.
 
It took all day, but finally the details were all worked out, and I boarded the plane in the middle of the night, arriving home Wednesday, March 11th.  When I visited my mother-in-law, it was clear she was close to eternity.  Beabea and I both shared that we loved her.  I reminded Lillian that she was my favorite mother-in-law.  This was an old joke between us.  She often called me her favorite son-in-law.  (I was her only son-in-law.)  I remember while I was talking to her, she seemed to be looking beyond me.  I wondered if she was seeing the angels gathered about her in the room (Luke 16:22).  There were moments that she didn’t seem to be there at all.  When she was aware of us, she shared she was in pain.
 
Sunday night, March 15th, Beabea went to the hospital to visit her mom.  Because of the coronavirus the only door open was the emergency entrance.  There were signs telling Beabea that was where she should enter.  Beabea went into the emergency entrance and upstairs to the floor where her mom was.  A nurse stopped her and asked how she got in.  Beabea said, “I just walked in.”  The nurse told her that she should have been stopped at the emergency entrance.  They were not allowing visitors unless you were called to the hospital in end-of-life situations.  No one had called Beabea.  She was expecting to be sent downstairs when the nurse said that since she was there, she might as well see her mom.  Grateful, Beabea entered her mom’s room and discovered that Lillian was much more alert than she had seen her in a while.  They had a great visit together.  Her mom was very much looking forward to heaven.  The next day, Monday, March 16, the nurse called and said Beabea should come up.  That evening, my favorite mother-in-law entered heaven, face to face with Christ, her Savior.
 
I think about what that must be like.  All my life I have been learning about Jesus.  Five minutes after entering heaven, I will understand so much more.  Lillian Stoner had lived a life that honored God.  When Beabea was 15, her whole family started a spiritual journey that would see them come to Christ.  From then on Beabea’s mom was a constant witness for Jesus Christ.  In the years of church planting in Utah, Beabea’s mom and dad would visit and go door-to-door calling in the community inviting people to church.  Later, when Beabea’s dad went to heaven, Lillian lived with us for over 20 years helping in our ministry.  She became a precious part of our immediate family.
 
Because of the coronavirus, we were only able to have a small group of family and friends at the funeral home.  We spent time sharing experiences we have all had with Beabea’s mom.  It was a precious time.  (We plan to have a celebration of her life at First Baptist in Russiaville IN after the limitations in crowd size are removed.)
 
 
 
We love you and miss you, Mom!
 
John
 
John (and Beabea) Rogers
jtrbem@gmail.com

 

7265 West 320 South
Russiaville, IN 46979
Home: (765) 889-3264
Cell:    (765) 753-0056

 

Commissioning Church: Shepherd Road Baptist Church, P.O. Box 1054, Mulberry, FL  33860

 

Barnabas Enrichment Ministries
P.O. Box 229
Elkhart, IN 46515-0229

(765) 667-2532

www.barnabasenrichmentministries.org

 

Please send all financial gifts to Barnabas Enrichment Ministries with a note designating the gift for the ministry of John & Beabea Rogers.