Our sincerest and deeply felt condolences to Jean, Robert and families at this time of mixed
sadness and joy as your beloved Dad, and my dear friend and mentor in many ways, left his old body to pass on to the myriads of saints and angels worshiping the Lamb who was slain and who is on the eternal throne of glory. How different and glorious the reality must be as compared to faithful anticipation!
I've been there, when my Dad, and years later, Mom went on to glory after having faithfully served the Lord here in Puerto Rico since 1946. There's sadness, but also joy and thankfulness to God for His saving mercy to them and to their children as well, of whom I am the eldest at 78.
Back in '68-69 the Lord opened the eyes in my head and, most importantly, of my soul, to see and believe the truths of God's sovereign grace. He did the same with my wife Norma at the same time. For several years I found myself being the 'only one' seeing, loving and preaching these truths in PR, or at least so I thought. Several years later I met and began fellowshiping with a pastor whom God also brought to see and believe the same glorious Truths. That led to a contact with a dear brother in Nashville, Tenn., Norbert Ward, publisher of Baptist Reformation Review.
My written contact with him led to a trip to the USA to meet Chuches he felt would be interested in supporting our missionary labors. He actually published an article on our service to our Lord here-
Bro. Ward paid my air-fare and, once there, loaned me the better of his two old cars. That's where I met John Zens, and the trip that followed opened doors of fellowship in many cities and States, for example: Don McKinney and Richard Allee in Lake Charles. LA, Drew Garner in Houston, TX, Ron McKinney in Dallas, and then on northeast to a Conference where I met Ferrel Griswold, Holmes Moore of St Louis, Henry McMahon in KY and then on to PA and NJ where I met Boyd Personett, Al Martin, Walter Chantry, and others. The common thread or theme was God's Grace. At that time I began a translation of the 1689 London Confession which was published and is still found on-line. Years later I translated the 1644 (46), also available on our websites.
Several years later, Ron McKinney invited me to be pianist at a Conference in Dallas where a new community of sovereign grace churches was taking shape, namely, Continental Baptist Churches of which our church here in Manatí, PR, became a charter member. He covered all my expenses... so gracious and loving! At that conference, where I heard Don Carson preach, was the point in time where God would have me come to meet and fellowship with my dear bro. John Reisinger. NCT was emerging as a core doctrinal issue. Not surprised, some previous friends now denounced me as an enemy of God's law, cutting fellowship and support, all because I was fellowshiping 'with the likes of Reisinger, McKinney. Yet, God was always in control. He is our righteous Judge!
Not long after that, John R. authorized me to translate all his writings into Spanish, of which the first was 'Tablets of Stone'... online on our website www.vozdegracia.com. What a privilege and joy to count with his approval and trust. Godly fellowship continued with some of these brethren, such as Drew Garner, the McKinneys, Holmes Moore, Personett. Others cut all ties... so sad!
Some years later, John R. invited me to be pianist at one of the Bunyan Conferences in eastern PA and, in loving generosity, helped defray costs of air travel. What a blessed time that was to hear him preach the glories of Christ. Either on that trip or a following one, my wife and I were driving from CT to VA (visiting our two oldest daughters) via the Interstate route that goes the Harrisburg route so, I called John, and he invited us to stop by and visit, which we did. Dinner time came, and he and his dear wife took us out to eat at his favorite diner. To this day my wife remembers and smiles at the love John had for mashed potatoes and gravy. My, my! He also loved to eat!
That was the last time I saw John, although we did communicate via phone and email. I was to meet with him at a Conference somewhere in the area of Austin, TX, regarding some planning of Spanish translations and ministry. I drove there with my 'now-with-our-Lord' dear brother Drew Garner, who loved to listen to John preach Christ. However, in God's providence, John, the main speaker, had to cancel due to health issues. The meeting with another missionary was held anyway with Dr. Gary Long sitting in as a substitute for John. No positive results came from that time, so I purposed in my heart on doing a new translation of the sequel 'But I Say Unto You', which I've not been able to work on as of today... the same goes for 'Abraham's Four Seeds'.
To sum it all up: God works in marvelous ways to bring about His eternal plans. What a privilege it was to be brought into contact with such a dear brother as John. To me he was and will always be an example to follow, as Paul wrote re. 'following him as he followed Christ'. Last night I listened to one of his videos on Regeneration (at CtoC) and my eyes teared up remembering those precious times when I met him and then developed that loving relationship in areas of ministry unto Christ.
My time here is surely less than what I've already lived. I thank and praise God for the over 60 yrs of service He's given me (starting as pianist for the Lord at 15) and the privilege of having been brought to such blessed fellowship with my dear brother John. Miss him? Of course! But, with joy that He's with the Lord and I can still listen to his audios and videos, as well as keep publishing at least one of his books and, hopefully, if God so wills it, translate others as authorized by John.
Again, Bob and Jean, our condolences to you and a big hug in the Christian love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Contact info at 'Contacto' option in 2nd url