Dad was unable to worship with his Lafayette family from August until December 23, 2007. This is a letter he very carefully and emotionally crafted for the congregation. It was read to the Lafayette brothers and sisters by his dear friend and fellow elder, Jackie Roland, that morning. This is the text:
To my dear friends at Lafayette:
After an absence of nearly five months, I am now given the privilege of rejoining you. This is the day I have dreamed of and longed for during my extended stay in St. Luke’s and Surrey Place. I cannot express to you my overwhelming joy at being able once again to worship with my brothers and sisters at Lafayette. In more ways than I could ever convey, I owe you my deepest gratitude for your prayers which I always knew were going up to God on my behalf. My family and I are so grateful for the flood of calls, cards, visits, and countless acts of kindness on Nelda’s and my behalf. There is no way our family could have navigated the multitude of issues that have arisen since my stroke on July 31st without the unceasing efforts of this wonderful congregation. I feel so blessed to have this support group of fellow Christians when I witnessed so many patients who had few visitors and little encouragement. This body of believers has been more supportive than anyone could ever imagine. My recovery has, in many ways, been remarkable though I know there are many obstacles yet to overcome. With the Lord’s help and your continuing prayers, I hope to keep growing stronger and stronger day by day. I especially want to thank my fellow elders for their steadfastness in standing by me in my darkest hours. We can never repay the debt but that is the essence of Christian service. I love you and Nelda would tell you the same if she were able.