Wednesday, January 11, 2006

A tribute to the late Mr. W. Stein

I first met Mr. Stein (family friend) at his daughter's baptism at North Shore Alliance Church. His daughter (with whom we are friends), had recently accepted Christ. It was very joyous occassion in which, I am sure, all of heaven must have been rejoicing to see her public declaration of faith.

Mr. Stein struck me as a very down-to-earth individual. My wife and I soon made conversation with him. We were of course trying to practice our very limited command of the German language! He told us his life story about how he had emigrated from Germany and about the hardships he faced as a young individual trying to practice his Christian faith. It was fascinating talking to him, and it occurred to me how universal the love and bond of Christ is to all of us. Here was someone I hardly knew, yet I felt like he was truly a brother in Christ.

A few months later, we met again, this time by his hospital bed. We had known for some time that he had cancer, but it wasn't until this visit that we realized the extent to which it had spread. Although we did not know him all that well at the time, both Karen and I felt compelled to visit him and to pray for him. Now one would expect in such a scenario that we were the encouragers, and he the encouraged, but it was during this visit that, oddly enough, we felt encouraged by him! To this day, I cannot put my finger as to why, but I believe it has something to do with the incredible attitude that he had in the face of adversity. Not many people are able to be so content, high-spirited and full of humour when faced with terminal illness.

Thank you, Mr. Stein for being such an encouragement to Karen and myself even in the face of your own adversity. It was an honour to have known you, and to have been your friend. I am sure that the legacy that you have left behind through your wife, your daughters, and your friends will have an incredible impact on this world for Christ.

To the family and friends of the late W. Stein: May this favourite hymn of ours be an encouragement to you.

When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll,
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say
It is well, It is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet,
Though trials should come,
Let this blessed assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate
And has shed His own blood for my soul

It is well, It is well,
It is well, It is well with my soul!

My sin, Oh the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin, not in part but the whole
Is nailed to His cross, and I bear it no more
Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord, Oh my soul!

And Lord haste the day when my faith shall be sight
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll
The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend
Even so! It is well with my soul!

It is well, It is well,
It is well, It is well with my soul!
Mr. W. Stein went to be with the Lord the morning of January 10th, 2006.

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