RURAL BRYANT, SD, PRESENTS:
Very few phone calls are life changing, but this one was. It was 7:00 p.m., November 11, and my mother called me from southern Brazil informing me that Dad had had a bad accident while on his way to a missionary meeting. She was going right then to find him and would call later. Not until 11:00 p.m. did we hear that Dad and a Brazilian co-laborer had died immediately as they ran into a stopped bus hidden from their view by sudden traffic, rain and fog. My niece and two other missionary candidates were also in the car and were in critical condition. After a fourteen hour trip Gwen and I arrived home with five of the grandchildren [to Jacutinga from Vianopolis]. Hudson, my brother, arrived the following day and Carleen, two days later.
Dad had died at 3:30 p.m. and had to be buried within twenty-four hours according to the custom here. So together with hundreds of Brazilian friends we viewed the bodies, encouraged each other in the promises of God's Word, sang together, gave the unsaved an opportunity to hear the Gospel and then placed Dad's coffin into a freshly dug grave in thelocal cemetery. Yes, there were tears, but God somehow drew praise, prayer for more laborers, testimonies and more songs from those present.
Dad had driven to meetings such as the one for which he was headed on that rainy afteroon for over fifty years. I can't remember many weekends that he wasn't in a church challenging the unsaved to believe and the believer to be obedient to God's command to get the Gospel to all the world.
My niece, Lenita Templeton, went to be with the Lord nine days later. (The two other girls involved in the wreck are at home now and will be many months recuperating from broken bones.) Three more grandchildren came from the U.S.; our Jeffrey and Karen and Celinda, Lenita's sister. What a comfort and help they have been. Once again at a funeral service the Lord spoke to all of us about the value of living totally for God. The testimony that many gave of Lenita's life was that she was inerested in seeing people taught the Gospel and coming to know God.
Mom has needed us here with her during these days of Christmas vacation to spend time helping with legal matters and help her understand all the paper work that Dad had always done. She is doing well in all respects and tomorrow we leave to go back to Vianopolis.
Our dear Karen and her cousin Celinda head back to Tennessee Temple University. Jeffrey has decided to stay with us for awhile for which we thank the Lord. We had asked you to pray for direction for his life for this coming semester. He has already been a big help in helping me correct some translation work on a volume of Chronological Teaching for our Brazilian missionaries. There are seven volumes to go. Pray that someone will be willing to do the translation work.
School starts for Karis and Anita on the 10th and that means the four of us will be back to "normal" life with our eleven dorm daughters. Gwen will continue to teach Biology, and I have the privilege of teaching the Word each morning to our 24 high schoolers.
Thank you for the part you have had in our lives. We have received calls, cards, letters, gifts and much prayer on our behalf. We return encouraged and strengthened in our inner man.
Yours to reach tribal people,
Calvin & Gwen Taylor