This is a report for Mission 399 by Grace on Wings.
Departure: Greenville, Texas
Arrival: Aberdeen, South Dakota
Date: May 18, 2016
It’s a beautiful sunny day and we have the pleasure of spending it with 79 year old Delpha and her husband Elvin from Aberdeen, South Dakota.
They have been married for 58 years and have 1 son and 1 daughter along with 18 grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Both of their children live in Texas and so they spend a lot of time down there visiting. It was during their most recent visit that Delpha had a stroke. She has been in a very nice rehab facility and is now ready to get back home to South Dakota.
Upon our arrival we are greeted by their daughter-in-law and several staff, many of which are coming in to say their goodbyes to this adorable couple. We pack up and make our way to the airport. As we prepare to board Nellie, Elvin leans over and kisses Delpha and as he backs away he sweetly says, “she gets a lot of those.” We both laughed as I replied, “I certainly hope that they are all from you.”
We spent the next 3 hours talking and laughing as Delpha rested. They have both lived their entire lives in South Dakota living in the same town when they were younger. Although they knew each other they never dated during that time. Delpha’s father was an associate pastor and she played the piano in their church. Delpha went off to college and Elvin jokingly said, “I never went to college, I already knew everything.” Shortly after she returned he was walking out of the bank one day and as Elvin puts it ……there she was.
He said he looked at her and thought, where did she come from? He quickly got up the courage to ask her out. Elvin spent time as an automotive parts salesman and Delpha taught music and went on to become a school principal. They raised both of their children in a Christian home and their daughter and her family went on to be a missionaries in Jordan prior to moving to Texas. About 20 years ago Elvin and Delpha started a Christian school in their community with only 10 children. It has since grown to over 270 students and they thoroughly love being involved in it.
As we landed in Aberdeen their son Al was waiting on the tarmac he had flown up from Texas to help them get settled. He followed us to the rehab center that Elvin had selected for Delpha. (It turns out that she being a pianist has played for the patients here and at many of the nursing homes in town.)
Once we made sure Delpha was comfortable in her bed Elvin could not wait to give her another kiss and boy did her eyes sparkle. Every time she made eye contact with him she did her best to smile. He doted over her every opportunity he could. After we prayed we all hugged and Elvin promised to keep us updated on how Delpha gets along.
FIX THESE WORDS OF MINE IN YOUR HEARTS AND MINDS; TIE THEM AS SYMBOLS ON YOUR HANDS AND BIND THEM ON YOUR FOREHEADS. TEACH THEM TO YOUR CHILDREN, TALKING ABOUT THEM WHEN YOU SIT AT HOME AND WHEN YOU WALK ALONG THE ROAD, WHEN YOU LIE DOWN AND WHEN YOU GET UP
Thank you to Hal, Mark and Eric for sharing this mission with me. Grace and peace to you from Him who is, and who was and who is to come.