Friday, December 08, 2006

The Privilege of Sharing the Gospel

I wanted to share a letter that one of my fellow pastors, Kenneth Maresco, recently received from a former member of our church. It’s a powerful reminder of how important it is for all of us to use every opportunity to share the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ.
Kenneth –
I wanted to write a note to thank you for your dedication to the Lord, your passion for spreading the Gospel & teaching us to do the same. Your teaching & preaching has positively affected more lives for the good than you can possibly imagine! One of those lives was Ellen Ann McWilliams, a former co-worker of mine from Fannie Mae.

Joyce & I invited Ellen to attend the Alpha course in the fall of 2002. Although Ellen was actively attending a local Catholic church at the time she accepted our invitation. Ellen was involved in counseling divorcees and wanted a better understanding of the Bible and understanding how to have a relationship with Jesus. By the end of the course, Ellen had accepted Jesus as her savior & re-dedicated her life to the Lord.

Ellen was a kind & lovely woman. We were blessed to have her as a guest in our home for Christmas Supper and again at Easter Supper in 2003. On more than one occasion she told us she had never felt such joy in her life. We loved her as a friend & a member of the body of Christ. Even after Ellen moved to the Philadelphia area for a new job, we kept in contact by phone & email until this past Spring 2006.

Sadly, though, I had a recent conversation with another former co-worker who informed me that Ellen died Memorial Day weekend in a skydiving accident. The circumstances were so unusual that the story was reported in the national & international newscasts.

We have since learned from the same co-worker, the coroner’s report states that due to evidence of a heart attack, Ellen probably died before striking the ground. If that is true, I can only imagine that as she called to God for help, He mercifully pulled Ellen from this life to come home with Him.

The circumstances of her death were a shock to us, but we are comforted in knowing we will one day have the opportunity to worship with her at the feet of the Lord.

-Russell
Please pray for Ellen’s family. And please consider who God has placed in your life at this time. Don’t pass up an opportunity to speak them about the hope you have because of Jesus Christ.

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