Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Following Grace & Les - #2

A few campmeetings back, this blogger and Dr. Les joined a tour group led by church historian/archaeologist Dale Stults in examining the fired remains of the Gospel Trumpet Offices which burned back in 1898, the same night those earlier Saints had moved on to Moundsville. We later blogged about Dr. Les obtaining his Higher Degree.

As recently as late July, we worked with Grace in the Camp Dining Hall as she was still working through her grieving, accompanied by several of her adoring family, including son Dave and various grandchildren. That was a special joy to us, and I remembered the year that granddaughter Andrea worked on our Dining Hall crew. She was an area highschool basketball star then, now she is a gracious and mature wife and mother.

First it was the sons/wives who helped dad and mother in camp; later it was the grandkids, and always they each had that delightful "Selent" stamp upon them. They come back and bless us at Warner Camp, but they now live their own lives across the country, serving God diligently, just as they learned at Warner Camp. I'm leaving names out, I know, but when I received Grace's recollections this week, I felt compelled to share them, thus this second part of how Les and Grace made their plans, and God directed their steps (*again, slightly edited).

"Normally we would go to South Dakota at the end of July, but Leslie’s grand-niece (Jessica) was getting married on July 10 and asked Leslie to perform the ceremony. So, July 4th weekend we took off. Leslie performed the ceremony and did a good job, but was absolutely beat. He also baptized his niece, grand-niece and grand-nephew, with the help of his brother Leroy who is father of the niece. This took place in the public swimming pool in Highmore (S.D.) after it was closed to the public. It was warm and worked out very well. Someone had inadvertently left the heater on so the water was warm--another blessing.

"We visited with relatives there for several days. Leslie was asked to preach on Sunday, but declined because he was too weak. We headed back to Grand Junction and I helped with the youth camps and Leslie rested. He would not give up and go home. Doc Stevens, Camp Director and friend, allowed us to use his golf cart the whole time we were there … another blessing as Leslie was too weak to walk to the activities.

"We attended the camp meeting (at camp) and I helped in the cafeteria--end of July. I suggested we go home, but Leslie wanted to stay and attend the wedding of my granddaughter, Michelle on August 13 and another wedding of my granddaughter, Andrea on August 27th. He was feeling really terrible by this time, but would not give up; I felt we should go home and I could fly to MI for the weddings, but he would not hear of it at all. He wanted to be there, too.

"He had lost about 15 lbs. and was not able to eat hardly anything. I would get him milkshakes--he liked those and would drink a little at a time. We had planned to go to VA to visit my grandson, Eric and family after the weddings. My son, Ray, had come to MI from FL to help me drive to VA.

"I need to back up … on August 15 a lump appeared on Leslie’s neck on the right side just below the ear and the next day it was much bigger, so back to the doctor. He scheduled an ultra-sound, but it was inconclusive: they did not know if the lump was inside the carotid artery or attached to the outside. He scheduled a c-scan and then a biopsy which showed lots of infection and some cancer cells. It was a Divine Appointment that Ray came to help me drive, since I would not have been able to drive and take care of Leslie also. Against his wishes, we headed home on the 28th after the second wedding."

From Warner's World, we'll conclude Grace's journey tomorrow, but we continue our friendship with her, as a lady who represents the highest and the best of the tradition of the Gospel Trumpet Saints that have inhabited Warner Memorial Camp over the past 119 years ...
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