Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Happy Birthday David O. Burkholder - 90 is Impressive - September 27, 2017

To know David O. Burkholder is my distinct privilege. He is and has been my father in law since August 2, 1986. Today he turns 90 and I am so thankful for the thirty two years I have known him.  If I would have known what I know today about being Lynn Burkholder's wife and all that it means - I would have been entirely too impatient up until the time I met the man Lynn! And to think of missing all that I have enjoyed being married to Lynn - I shudder. I can not even. Just stop!

To have missionary in laws is a gift that continues to give into my life equally pouring over into my children's lives as well. My soul is content. The prayers that Dad and my mother in law have prayed for us - we tangibly see today. The stories between the two of them - GOLD. My mother in law has journeyed on beyond, she has left the planet a little earlier than the rest of us. So today I sit alone with my father in law soaking in his stories, his cherished stories. 

My father in law so loves His heavenly Father. I feel it, I see it and I am thankful for his relationship with Our Father who is in heaven! All of His stories swirl around either God's goodness and mercy or the adventures he has had spreading the gospel.

One Saturday ago, as clouds are piling on top of one another, my father in law and I are unaware of the storm brewing outside the kitchen window. We are processing one of the many adventures in his life- a time when he and his sister, his future brother in law - Johnny and another friend are called to go and share the gospel. And on that Saturday, he sits in a chair, calm, composed, and patient, while I retype the story he wrote many years ago.  He is a such a good story teller - I am freezing, cringing, squirming and hoping I make it out alive. He's good.

David, my father in law, is young, he is brave, and he and his four gospel-driven friends are simply not thinking as they head to a reservation with little to nothing on their backs except one pack-sack between them. I am imagining angels debating amongst themselves whether they should just show up in bodily form and shove them back to safety. The four cross a frozen body of water and had they been familiar with these parts they would have known there is real danger underneath their feet. Typically, this spot does not freeze due to the current. But their guide, familiar with these parts, has left them. No one is there to warn them of the danger. They are on their own.

Today, the man, some seventy years later, relives his story as if it was yesterday. He recalls the exhaustion, his legs bone tired and extremely sore. He has his theories as to why that is. He also has his theories as to why the guide left, all of which he shares with me but desires it not to find its way to print. I try to persuade him otherwise but I know the point at which I must relent. This is his story.

Today he turns 90. He lives supported by His Heavenly Father who has graciously allowed Him to see His hand provide. Dad Burkholder is a man of prayer and you can hear him audibly calling out to God in his home. He completely depends on Him.

He and I have much to accomplish with the book he is writing. I am selfishly asking for continued longevity along with good health so that we can finish this task. The effort is made easy due to all that he has written since the 50's. In essence we are collectors and gatherers of his written material. This is a privilege.

Happy Birthday Dad and thank you for your warm welcome you gave to me many moons ago. To watch you and your wife always put the LORD before earthly possessions or pursuits has been the best sermon a daughter in law could ever ask for.

My birthday wish for you is that while you are still on the planet you can witness a remarkable shift in the atmosphere at Pikangikum. God is a good finisher and He has heard your prayers. I just desire for you to see them answered.  May your faith increase to new levels going beyond what you can even imagine.