Psalm 16:6 says, " The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; Yea, I have a goodly heritage."
My niece, Luanna, who is almost 14, is coming with me and my parents to the Inter-Church convention in Dayton, Ohio next week. This is a big thing for her, and I hope she has a wonderful week!
I started thinking about some events which happened when I was her age...let's just say that has been a "few" years ago! The summer after my 13th birthday, my brother Michael and I, accompanied my Grandpa and Grandma Heer on a trip up to Hot Springs, South Dakota. We made a stop in a town located in western Nebraska for them to have a missionary service. They had a very strong love and heart for the American Indians and traveled extensively for Wesleyan Indian Ministries. Michael and I assisted with the service by providing some music. My grandpa didn't make it to South Dakota that year as he was stricken with a heart attack while we were still in Nebraska. Thankfully, we were staying with the pastor that night, and his wife was a nurse. She accompanied us as we drove my grandpa to the hospital several miles away. We made it and he was admitted and stayed for awhile, perhaps 10 days or so, to receive care. After a few days had passed, my grandma took Michael and I, and we proceeded up to Hot Springs to attend the annual camp meeting being held at Brainerd Indian School. Eventually, we made it back to western Nebraska, my grandpa finished his recovery, and we drove on home to Overland Park. The next year brought dietary changes as he walked and tried to improve his health.
The next summer, when I was 14, Michael and I once again accompanied them north towards Hot Springs for the annual gathering at Brainerd Indian School. On the way, we stopped at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to assist Frank and Kathy Johnston and their family with a VBS. That was as far as we got. On Sunday night, my grandpa began to feel badly and went out to rest in the recliner located in the living room of the mission home. It was there, his spirit winged its way to his reward with the Lord as he once again suffered a heart attack. He was eventually discovered, and an ambulance came to get him. Three Indian men came and took him to the hospital, but he was already gone. It was so appropriate that he passed this life on an Indian reservation amongst the people for whom he carried such a burden. He so longed to see them receive Christ and have new life.
Soon, the Johnston's oldest daughter, Caroline, accompanied us as we drove home to Overland Park to prepare a funeral and burial. This was very difficult for my grandma to lose her husband so unexpectedly and without a chance to say goodbye. He was only in his 60's.
I am so grateful for these opportunities I had to spend time with my grandpa. None of us knew when we sat out on that trip, it would be our last opportunity.
He was truly a man of God. He spent his life preaching, teaching, pastoring, traveling in deputation, and praying that God's work would be accomplished. Truly, I have a "goodly heritage!"