USA – George & Linda marriage celebration, Feb 27, 2017
Linda and I celebrated a very special time together today and we want to thank God and each one of you that have been such a special part of our lives. We celebrated 40 years of marriage on December 29th, 2016 and were blessed to renew our covenant with 13 other couples in Mexico at the new fellowship center there on January 1st. After each couple renewed their vows to one another, we each took a lock to the foot of the cross, unlocked it and placed the key at the foot of the cross to symbolically renew our commitment to deny ourselves as a couple and join with others to follow Jesus. A few days later, Linda and I had the privilege of throwing our key into one of the rivers outside of San Luis, Mexico. On Feb 18th, we again renewed our vows with 4 other couples in Lyman, WA and again placed our lock at the foot of the cross. The only thing that was different is that in Mexico we only had one key for each couple. This time Linda was led to keep two keys with each lock. We have been praying about where we would throw our keys and we wanted to do it before she leaves on her mission to Mexico. 
Just a little over 4 years ago I was on mission in Africa working with our director, Martin, and Katie. Although I planned a two month mission, it was interrupted on the 16th day after I had talked with my son, Shane, in Washington just a few hours after he had been released from the hospital after having had extensive back surgery. Ironically, after I prayed with him over the phone, his last words to me were, “I just want you to know dad, that from now on I will be in Africa with you.” Pr. Martin woke me up just 7 hours later with a phone call from Linda to tell me that he had passed away. We were comforted to know that he passed away knowing the Lord. He loved fishing so his ashes were equally distributed between the Skagit and Samish River where he caught his first steelhead when he was 10. Our precious sister, Katie, passed away in Africa and went to be with the Lord just two years after Shane. Today, Linda and I went to the Skagit River where I threw in my key and then we drove to the Samish where Linda threw in her key. Ironically, in 7 weeks, Linda and I will be in Africa to renew our vows with our co-laborers that are serving the Lord in the six countries we are now serving in. Now – what to do with that key?