Jim’s memorial service was this past Friday on August 6th. His friends, family, fellow soldiers, and former congregants gathered to celebrate his life and share in his memory.
It isn’t easy to divide Jim’s long successful and ministry-driven life into chapters. Nor is it necessary. Every chapter overlayed, informed, and equipped him for the next, whether it was the chaplaincy, church planting, pastoring, or starting a new ministry.
We at The Jerusalem Connection were blessed to join Jim and Patty in their last chapter. What a privilege it was to love and serve the Jewish people and the state of Israel together, with these two giants of the faith.
When I first met Jim, I had recently returned from studying several years in Israel. I found in Jim and Patty people committed to sharing Israel’s story. I knew I wanted to play a part. Jim responded to my unsolicited job application with an invitation for a meeting. I was six months pregnant with my first child at the time. I knew a baby bump isn’t always the best confidence builder in a job interview. Imagine my surprise and delight when Jim offered for me to join TJCI right away. What I learned later is that it was a long life with Patty that had taught Jim not to question the capabilities of a Louisiana woman on a mission.
Our little crew at Jerusalem Connection knows that we have big shoes to fill. We also know that we are blessed beyond measure to have worked alongside Jim all these years. I speak for all of us when I say that every year of our lives that we had Jim teaching us, leading us, and mentoring us is a year that we grew as believers, and as advocates for Israel.
We press on with our mission, just like Jim would have wanted us to do and just like he and Pat taught us to do.
One of Jim’s favorite verses towards the end of his life was from Psalms 34:
Glorify the Lord with me and let us exalt his name together. The angel of Yahweh encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. Fear Yahweh, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing.
Certainly, Jim glorified the name of Yahweh. And he lacked nothing.
Next week I will be starting a new series called Bible Fiber: Healthy Bulk for Your Spiritual Gut. Stay tuned to find out more!