77 year old Roger was born and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana with his twin sister and 2 brothers. His family had a farm where they grew crops, raised dairy cows and together attended their local Lutheran church. He went on to college earning his degree in Economics and has been living in Virginia for the last 51 years.
He eventually retired from his job as an agricultural economist with the USDA. He has attended the same church during his 51 years in Virginia. He never married nor had any children and is quite close with his pastor Thom, of whom has been with the church for 35 years.
Roger has been the church treasurer for many years and worked with a wonderful outreach ministry they oversee. Over the last 25 years they have successfully taught, equipped and graduated 800 homeless folks in the restaurant field teaching them many things from cooking to catering.
This has allowed them to get jobs in the restaurant industry which is huge in the D.C. area. What a wonderful reflection of God’s love and from a church of only about 150 members.
2 CORINTHIANS 9:12
THIS SERVICE THAT YOU PERFORM IS NOT ONLY SUPPLYING THE NEEDS OF THE LORD’S PEOPLE BUT IS ALSO OVERFLOWING IN MANY EXPRESSIONS OF THANKS TO GOD.
With Roger’s memory beginning to fade a little and no family near him, his family wishes to bringing him back home to Fort Wayne. Recently he has been living in an extended care facility. He loves to walk around both indoors and out and so, it is for this reason they have had to hire a companion to be with him 24/7.
We arrive in Virginia to pick him up and as we enter his room we are greeted by his brother Ken and sister-in-law, Pastor Thom and his hired companion. They are all very happy to see us but as I look around the room I notice that there is no one else in there. I asked, “Where is Roger?” and their reply was simply, “He is around here somewhere.” So we began our routine of unloading equipment as we waited for Roger to make his appearance.
What an appearance he made……..as the 2 doors swung open between the hallway here he came. An adorable gentleman about 5’5″, soft white hair, wire-rimmed glasses framing his sweet rosy cheeks and smartly dressed in his gray slacks, blue button up shirt neatly tucked in and gray sports coat. All I could say was, “Roger, no one told me you were so handsome.” I think his picture should be beside the definition of ” Dapper ” in the dictionary.
We explained to him that he would need to be on our cot and monitor during his flight and he agreed. As we packed up to leave Roger and Ken said their goodbyes at least until Christmas when Ken and his wife will go home to Fort Wayne to visit. Pastor Thom will get to spend a little more time with Roger since he will be making the flight with us.
Once on board Abe we placed Roger’s headset on and he asked if Hal could leave the radio up so he could hear the air traffic. I can honestly say I have never had a patient who enjoyed their flight quite as much as Roger.
He had a great window seat looking out just below the wing. As we flew he never took his eyes off of his window watching intently and taking in every moment. He asked questions about things below and pointed out things to us as we began to fly into Fort Wayne. His smile and his enthusiasm was priceless. It was a great joy just observing him.
At the new facility we were once again greeted warmly by his brother Neil, sister-in-law Sharon and his twin sister Rita. They were so excited to see one another and very thankful to have him back home. By this time Roger had removed his sports coat and was anxious to look around his new surroundings.
His family joined us in prayer as we thanked God for safe travel and for the love of family. Pastor Thom left with us to fly back to Indianapolis where he will catch his plane back to D.C. We arrived back into Indy early enough for lunch which allowed us some extra time to spend with and get to know Pastor Thom a little more before driving him to the terminal for his early evening departure.
Thank you to Hal and Danny for sharing this mission with me.
And thank you to all of you for your continued prayers and support may the God of grace and peace continue to be with each of you.
Shelli Engle RN