Jerry Hitchman

Reflecting on Blessings and Losses : A December Tribute

Finding Depth in Life with God: A Sermon Reflection

We heard an interesting sermon recently taken from the book of Ezekiel. Can’t say I have heard too many sermons from that book! He preached from the 47th chapter which is all about a river flowing from the temple of God. It started as a trickle and ended up deep enough to swim in. I must say I wondered where the sermon was going to go from there. But as Pastor Howe shared, it became a beautiful picture of life with God.

Sometimes the water we are standing in is ankle deep, or knee deep. Sometimes the blessings of life with God are up to our shoulders or over our head. Is that because Gode only blesses a little sometimes or a lot other times?

No, it has to do with how all in we are as we live for God. All in looks like it is over our heads, and we are swimming! I want to be found swimming in all that God has for me. Fully engaged, fully on board with His plans for me, and fully committed to growing in Him. It’s hard to do that as we all know. But that is my desire. If it is coming from God within the temple, I know it’s good because God is good… all the time!

Christmas can bring so many lovely blessings from a good God. We can celebrate the coming of the gift of Christ to us in quiet ways or in a church full of people singing beautiful Christmas songs.

But this time of year, can also bring back memories that are tender and open spots of sadness for us. Both my mom and dad passed away in December. Just this week a beloved aunt died, too. We know they are having the best Christmas ever, but we still miss them so much. They were such wonderful examples of being all in for Jesus.

Honoring Precious Memories: Remembering Jerry Hitchman and Other Loved Ones

Jerry Hitchman

Now, another precious one is celebrating in heaven with the Saviour he loved. Jerry Hitchman passed away just before Thanksgiving in his home in Redding, CA. Jerry and his wife, Arlene, have been special friends for 47 years. The first time Tom went overseas in 1976 he ended up staying with the

Hitchman’s for a few days before the team left for Taiwan. Tom fell in love with them and somehow, they fell in love with Tom! Jerry was a football coach, teacher, and mentor to hundreds of young men. He was kind, gentle, loving, and in love with Arlene and Jesus.

Jerry and Arlene became wonderful friends, mentors, supporters, counselors, and always welcomed us to their home. They were an amazing example of a couple who loved each other very much but loved Jesus even more. Jerry and Arlene have given of themselves to us in so many loving ways! Jerry would even give up his comfy chair in the family room for Tom when he was visiting!

Jerry and Arlene became the first ones to financially support us as missionaries and have continued sacrificially giving every month for the past 47 years. Jerry was a teacher and football coach but did extra jobs like wallpapering and

refinishing antique furniture to earn some extra support for us. We took vacations together and went over scripture and prayed through both fruitful and tragic times in our lives together. Jerry and Arlene visited the Philippines and shared their faith in a leper colony and in the mountains of Baguio.

Jerry came back another time and traveled with our basketball team. We are so thankful for Jerry’s example of living for God.

There are so many of you reading this that we could say the same kinds of things. You have loved us, given us your

friendship, mentored us, and supported us. The Scriptures are full of verses about what a blessing it is to give, and our prayer is that you feel every one of those blessings. We have welcomed you as partners and fellow teammates as

we have made it our life work to be all in for Jesus, swimming in life with God which is flowing from His temple.

Merry Christmas, dear ones. Let’s go swimming! Blessings,

Karen and Tom Randall

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