“You gave me life…” Job 10:12 (NIV)
In the February of 1962 a thirteen month old baby was lying in a crib in the Matlock hospital, Derby, England. The baby was dying. Boiling water had been accidentally spilled on her and the resultant third degree burns had triggered ‘shock lung’ and brought on hypostatic bronchopneumonia. With her life ebbing away the medical practitioners told the parents to prepare for the worst.
The father, overcome with anguish, got in his car and drove up Masson Hill. Standing in the cool night air he gazed down, through teary eyes, at the town below. God met with him on the mountain. As he looked at the twinkling lights he realised he was worrying about a little girl who’d be going to heaven to be with Jesus and yet he had little to no concern for the thousands of people in the town who might be going to an eternity without Him. It was an epiphany. There and then he recommitted his life to one of total devotion and service in the cause of Christ. He also gave his daughter into God’s care, with a readiness to accept her death or recovery.
When he arrived back at the hospital the prognosis was the same. The baby would probably die during the night. But she didn’t die. God extended grace. He chose to spare her life. She made a miraculous recovery and grew up to be a beautiful godly woman, the mother of three wonderful children, a teacher, good friend, and my wife!
I’m extremely grateful for the grace of God. My father-in-law, Ken Terhoven, fulfilled the missional calling on his life. He discharged his promise of unstinting service until he was called home on November 12, 1995.
The journey of life . . . Ken, having committed himself to the cause of Christ, served as an international evangelist in fifty countries. The week of his death found him back where he begun. He was preaching at Cromford Methodist Church near Matlock when he suffered a massive heart attack in the pulpit; ending his labours a stone’s throw away from where he’d been called into service. It was a fitting close to the first chapter of his life . . . I scattered his ashes on Masson Hill.
The faith of our fathers; I thank the Lord for the faith of my father-in-law. Ken’s story is part of the story that informs my story. My story is part of the story that informs another’s story. We’re all connected. Let’s not forget that the decisions we make and the actions we take, impact each other’s stories.