Friday, November 20, 2009


Last January I visited my father. We had learned that he had terminal cancer, and I wanted to see him before he passed away. He had been giving about 18 months to live. I spent three days with him. In this time frame, he and I had an opportunity to open up our hearts to each other. We expressed our love for each other, forgave anything that needed forgiveness, hugged and cried. One of the most emotional events in my life was standing on his carport as I was saying goodbye to him. I told him, “Dad, you know that I will never see you again in this world. This is the real deal. This is goodbye in the absolute sense of the word.” I am crying again as I remember that moment. I drove off and about three miles down the road had to pull over and weep, I could not see to drive through the tears. I was so overcome with grief that I decided to not stop at Krispy Kreme on the way to the airport…that should put things in perspective for those of you that know me. :)

Dad surprised everyone and went home to be with the Lord just a few months later…he did not even live a year after the prognosis.

Why am I telling this story? In the United States, this week is thanksgiving. It is a time for us to give gratitude to the Lord and to others for how they have impacted our lives. As I was thinking of what I am grateful for, several things came to mind, but this event was the first and foremost. I am so grateful that God nudged my heart and the Holy Spirit spoke to my wife and told us that I should go visit my dad, no matter what the cost. I am grateful that our mission allowed me to go. But words cannot express how grateful I am for the most intimate time of my life with my dad and the chance to say things that most of us wish we had said but never did. I am thankful that my dad is with Jesus, but that before that I was with him.

I am also so thankful to the Lord for you. I echo the words of Paul, I thank my God every time I think of you.

We are able to faithfully serve our Lord Jesus Christ because YOU ARE FAITHFUL to Him. We have a large number of people that every month sends us money. I almost feel like I did at dad’s house as I try to express my thanks. Sometimes how we feel simply cannot be expressed. It is like trying to compress my heart into a word.

Thank you for your monthly gifts, your occasional gifts, your large gifts, and your small gifts.

Thank you for your cards, emails, and packages.

Thank you for your prayers, daily and as the Holy Spirit brings us to mind.

Thank you for your friendship.

Thank you for your love.

Thank you for the honor of being trusted by you.

Thank you for being such a role model to us.

Please know, this Thanksgiving, that not only are we thankful for you, we will be praying for you.

May the Lord allow you to see and experience some of the ways that He has already blessed you!

Grateful In The Lord,

Joe For The Holmans


Rich said...

Thanks for that, Joe.