I have neglected to write about something…er, someone, who has recently arrived into the presence of Jesus. I have hesitated to write about him, because the vast majority of those who make up Peninsula these days never met Don. You never met his hat-wearing, colorful wife, Alva, either. So, what’s the point? They were a couple upon whom this church was built for many years. Decades. Don passed away on May 18; Alva, 10 years ago.

But Don’s passing has hit me hard. Sometimes I feel like Moses or Joshua during the years of wandering in the desert. They waited for the next funeral as that unbelieving generation all died without entering the promise. That’s a lot of funerals. Many more than I have done.

But I wanted to share about Don’s passing because I think it is important for us to appreciate the godly foundation upon which this church was built. Hey, it wasn’t all godly, let’s just be honest. But Don Personius was. His focus was on loving and living for Jesus. He loved the Word. And I mean he really loved it.

For many years, Don was an Elder here. After they moved to Sonora to be closer to the medical side of their family, Don continued to read the Friday Update regularly, and send me an encouraging response at least once a month. I know he prayed for me. And for this church family. And I miss those emails. His generation has passed the baton of faith down to us. He didn’t drop it. It was the faithfulness of that generation, the one which now mostly sits in the grandstands cheering us on, that allows us to worship Jesus today.

Don was special to me. His unwavering love for Jesus and support for Kingdom values encouraged me. I spoke to him about a month ago as it became clear that the end was near. The joy in his voice and the hope of a meeting with Jesus was strong in his voice. I said goodbye and knew our next conversation would have to wait for me to join him. And someday I will.

But I want you to know that what God is doing among us today is no accident. Rough ground was ploughed. Seeds were planted. Prayers were offered. Sacrifices were made. God worked all of that together that He might proclaim His grace from this place. It is no accident. And we dare not drop the baton. We must live for Jesus, that others may hear of Jesus. Let us not shrink back, but boldly move forward behind the leadership of the Savior.

Though my heart is heavy, my hope is strong. Thank you, Don Personius. I love you.