88 year old Joseph or “Pops” as his son Scott affectionately calls him was originally born in France where he lived until the age of 13. His parents then moved their family here, to New Jersey. This is where Joseph and his wife of 36 years lived and raised their three sons before she passed away.
Joseph worked in electronics and as a brick mason prior to retiring. After his retirement, looking for something to keep himself busy he went to work for Wycliffe bible translators in Florida doing maintenance. It was during that time that he met and married a lady who also worked for Wycliffe. They were married for 20+ years and remained in Florida before her passing. Up until only a month ago “Pops” was still climbing ladders and making the drive between New Jersey and Florida on his own.
Recently Joseph began experiencing complications related to his metastatic prostate cancer and had a mass removed from his back. His son Scott has been making the trip back and forth and would like for his father to be back in New Jersey with his family. In addition to his 3 sons he has 10 grandchildren and 4 greatgrandchildren.
We arrived at Pops bedside to find him ready and excited to make the trip. As we transferred him on to our cot I noticed the computer screen in his room had a bible verse on it. As I began to look around the hospital every computer screen had a different scripture on it. What a great comfort that must be to patients and their families it certainly was to me.
Scott made the trip with us as well. Pops did great during the flight and we had lovely conversation with the two of them. This family is very involved in mission work themselves. Scott, his wife Lisa and their 3 children travel to Bolivia every summer for 2 weeks and are involved in building an orphanage complete with school and chapel. They have been doing this for the last 10 years and Pops was able to go with them about 3 years ago to help. Their excitement about their ministry was infectious and the joy that they received from doing this was very evident during our conversation.
Once on the ground in New Jersey we had a little bit of a ride during rush hour traffic to the new facility that Pops will call home for now. Once we arrived and made our way out of the ambulance and through the front door the welcome was overwhelming. There was family, young and old, with balloons, tears and smiles to greet Pops.
Each one approached him and one by one gave him a hug and kiss as he smiled ear to ear. It was a wonderful reunion. We took him to his room escorted by the kind charge nurse who was very attentive. Scott and Lisa plan to get their home ready and will bringing Pops to their home as soon as possible to care for him. In the meantime I know he is in good hands. We all said our goodbyes as we left this family to catch up with Pops.
I KEEP MY EYES ON THE LORD. WITH HIM AT MY RIGHT HAND I WILL NOT BE SHAKEN.
(this is the verse that was on the screen in Pops room and how appropriate it is)
If you are interested in the great mission work that this family is involved in the website is: LIAIM.com (love in action international ministries)
Thank you to Hal, Eric and JR for sharing this mission with me.
Many blessings and may the God of peace and grace be with you,
Shelli Engle RN