Saturday, July 10, 2010

How the Mighty Are Fallen!

If you don't know, I spent a few years in Safford Arizona as the Pastor of a small Evangelical Free Church before we moved to Sacramento to start the SouthPort Community Church.

The Church in Safford was in a sad state when I arrived and things did not exactly improve after we arrived. After we were there about a year, the district superintendent let us know that the plan was to close the Church until we decided to come along. Then, they thought they would give it a go and let us ride the sinking vessel all the way to the bottom, which we did.

Although I have some gruesome memories of that place, there were some bright spots. One bright spot, actually more like a shining star, was my friend Richard Hughes. He was, as his son in law put it today, one of the best men I have ever known.

I just received word that Richard passed away this morning after dealing with years of illness. Although this was "expected", it still comes as a blow to hear. He was one of my favorite people from that town and from any of the places we have been since then. He was a man who was always loving and always firmly in your corner regardless of what had happened in the past, which made him one of the best friends a person could have.

One of my favorite memories is riding back with him from summer camp in one of his trouble prone vans. On this particular trip, the van sprung a radiator leak and we got to limp through the mountains adding water, which we picked up gallons of in water bottles along the way, and trying to patch the thing up.

Along the way, we stopped at some favorite spots of his, including La Casa Reynosa in Globe and some rivers and camping spots he said he hadn't seen in years. I also got to hear all about each of his kids and the love he had for each of them was palpable. He inspired me to be a better father and a better husband.

I don't remember if he got to meet my Dad when my Dad came to visit us while we lived in Safford, but I am sure they will get a chance to hang out now and talk about things that have gone on with their families and in their lives as they share the reward the Lord has for them.

Richard, we will miss you! Probably more than we even yet realize. I look forward to seeing you again!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

its el ray were we ate :)
thank you for your kind words.. he thought highly of you and your family