Sometimes in this life we have to give reverence to those that go before us, today again I am confronted with mortality or even more the immortality of our lives. A great man, even more ….a great man of God has given his all…he has fought the good fight and is now realizing that what he knew and shared about ….his entire life… is really true. I see him busting on the scene saying…”I knew it would be like this!”
My sweet friend, actually my Uncle-in-law is receiving his reward for a life lived in Christ. He was a Pastor for several churches in Tennessee, but even more dramatic ……he was a missionary. In the early years in Guyana and later in Kenya, Africa. He had the heart of a missionary, along with his precious wife, Francis…..his help mate, who herself is the force behind his strength. He knew the love of his life was as called as he was, her undeniable faith and vision was the backbone for many years in the “wilds of Africa!”
I have always loved this couple and respect their willingness to sacrifice life and convenience of the States; to leave their three beautiful daughters and grandchildren, parents, siblings and all the rest of us to follow their calling as missionaries….I still am in awe. His stories were as big and exciting as I had hoped….as well as hilarious. My children always loved to listen to him talk of his adventures, especially when their own dad (Charles) went to work with Fred and Francis for a short term. I really don’t know for sure if they actually ministered to anyone but each other…..when they tried to tell the stories it was always with a laugh…crossing rivers waist high, eating with “witch doctors” and driving in traffic fearing for their lives. Old black and white Abbott and Costello movie is what it sounds like to me(the resemblance is scary, lol), but I know they had many moments of pure love and joy while leading people in the knowledge of a Savior, many of who will welcome him “home.”
I don’t know if missionaries get a special sticker or gold star in heaven, if not they should….takes special people to follow that leading, I know that is not why they went, they had a heart to serve, to lead those who may not have heard….that Jesus loves them. That truth is real and true and our sweet Fred Brannen who fought the good fight, is now completely healed and free to dance and sing with those who have gone before him……all the cool kids….. who now know what all the fuss is about…..God is real and He is waiting for us….O HAPPY DAY!
Until then, we keep on working, making them proud, they taught us how to love and live and be missionaries in our own little worlds. We will miss the stories Uncle Fred, but thank you for giving your life to us all. You are a hero in the faith. Sweet peace to you……….you made it!
On a side note: Fred was one person who read my blog….kind sweet Man and always commented and encouraged me…..I know he would enjoy the picture and above reference! No disrespect was meant.