August 31, 2010
August 30, 2010
But Pastor didn't stop there. He took an active role in the lives of every child in our church. I remember once talking with his daughter Julie about how much our kids adored her dad and how if anything ever happened to us he'd have to adopt them because we don't have any family able to raise such a brood in the ways of the Lord. Julie laughed and said, "Kathleen, if there should ever be an accident on a church trip, my parents will end up with a hundred kids." That's how he was.
Most of society is under the impression that children are a nuisance until they reach a useful age. But not Pastor Purks. He believed quite the opposite. Reach a child when he is young. Love him. Teach him. Nurture him. Share the things of the Lord with him. And one day he will be useful. I have had the honour of sitting on the sidelines and watching him reach out to the youth one child at a time and mold their lives for the better. You would be hard pressed to find one child that spent any time at Victory Baptist Church who didn't have fond memories of Pastor Louis A. Purks.
In the fall of 1998, we were at church camp with the two girls we had at the time. The dorm type cabins were separated two for the men and boys and two for the ladies and girls. Pastor and Allen being the only two without young boys were bunk mates. I guess Pastor felt sorry for him because as we were packing up to leave on Sunday afternoon, Pastor said, "Allen, you need a son to bring up here."
You know my Allen. He had to make a joke out of it. He pointed to me and said, "Tell that to her." Then he went on to explain how we had been struggling with infertility and three doctors told us in no uncertain terms that we would never have anymore children and we should consider ourselves lucky that we had two... blah, blah, blah.
Pastor told him that he was going to pray for us to have a son. The following weekend a couple that we were friends with went out of town leaving their 5 kids, including infant twins, with us for the weekend. We had a great time with them. Seven, kids. Can you imagine that? Well, when Pastor walked up to the pulpit that Sunday and saw us sitting there with a row full of children he joked about how quick that prayer was answered.
But seriously, when we found out two months later, to the shock of my doctor, we were expecting, he decided it surely must be a boy. His logic was that if he got the baby prayer answered than God wasn't going to stop at a girl. In fact, Pastor has this tradition. Every new baby received a miniature New Testament and Psalms in which he would inscribe a special blessing. It was always presented to the parents with a prayer for the newborn and the exhortation that we don't dedicate babies, but rather we dedicate parents to raise those babies in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. We call them the baby Bibles. Pink for the girls and blue for the boys. Pastor never bought the Bible until the baby was born. But this time he bought the blue Bible and had it ready to go.
Well, that baby turned out to be Emma Rose, whom he called his little Almond Joy. But he didn't give up hope that one day we'd get a son. You can see why when our first son was born, Nathaniel Louis was named after this faithful friend. These two have had a special relationship since the start. They even nicknamed each other Big Louie and Little Louie.
When we received the shocking news of his unexpected passing, our family sat for a long time talking of the many ways he has touched our lives. It seems we could never run out of things to say. Allen knew I would have to write a tribute to him and we decided it would be a family affair as the main point of this blog is about recording our family history and his legacy is too big to be kept to ourselves.
It is funny how the Lord works. A disaster in our basement led us to sorting through a life time of our family photographs this week. We came across many wonderful memories of our years under the leadership and guidance of this shepherd and the time that we were privileged to call him friend.
Pastor Purks retired to Texas earlier this year, leaving behind his son Pastor Jonathan Purks, whom he has discipled and groomed for this position. Pastor Jonathan asked us to share brief statements or memories of his father. Our family sat together collecting our memories into an email reply which I had to entitle, "As You Requested, but it is not brief." Come on. Have you ever known me to be brief? We didn't even scratch the surface in our lengthy response.
I am including it here so that those that did not have the amazing honour of knowing him, but get a glimpse of what a man sold out for Christ can do with just 59 years on this earth. May we all learn from his example of selfless love for lost souls and endless devotion to the things of the Lord.
His vision for Heaven.
His sense of humor.
His humility. He was so wise and yet was the first to admit his mistakes and learn from them... and try to teach others from his errors.
Monday morning we will set off for the viewing, funeral service and burial of Pastor Louis Purks. I don't know what the day will have in store. But in the example of this shining warrior, I pray for opportunities to use these events as a way for our family to share the message of the Gospel. That we can follow our Lord's command and do our part to fulfill the vision of our friend that no man shall leave this earth without the opportunity to believe.
August 29, 2010
August 28, 2010
August 27, 2010
and five buckets full of water balloons to get things started Wachter style.
Even though, the forecast was to be over a hundred with storms on the horizon, at this hour it was still cool with blue skies, perfect for a joyful breakfast together before the hectic day got underway.
After bagels, fruit, juice, yogurt and milk we got down to the real business of the day. Pulling out the official class of 2010 pen
August 26, 2010
I am joining Carin at Forever in Blue Jeans for her weekly challenge to get mom in the picture. If you've not been in the picture this week, it's not too late! Here's my four step plan to recovery. 1-Grab the camera 2- grab a kid 3- take a shot 4-post it! You can't ask for easier than that. I can't wait to see you in the picture.
We always take our family vacation in the fall after everyone else has returned to school for the semester. No crowds and cooler temps are definitely a benefits to home school. When September rolls around, here minds turn to sewing and baking and building and other fun stuff to get ready for various competitions at our county fair. Yes, we still live in a small enough town that the fair is a BIG deal. Businesses shut down and school even closes for the GREAT FREDERICK FAIR. I am not making that up. That's the official name.
Anyway, with that big interruption and then leaving for vacation in the middle of September, it has never made sense to start school until we return home in October. This year has been a year for doing things different, though. We all needed a change of direction and with bad weather on the horizon for this week, it seemed the perfect prescription for what ails us all.
Therefore, in an unprecedented move we announced Sunday that school would begin bright and early Monday morning. We rose at 6 am and gathered the line up for the official kick off of the Wachter Wagon Academy 2010-2011 school year.