March 29th started as an extra ordinary day for Grandma (Eleanor) Stern. It turned out to be far more than that. In her mind, she had been invited to speak to the Nairobi Lighthouse Church staff devotions. She couldn’t imagine why they would want her to speak (which speaks volumes about her character). So, after speaking a great word about dependence upon the Holy Spirit in our journey to God’s purposes for our lives, she was shocked that we all broke out in a chorus of Happy Birthday (Her 90th birthday was three weeks prior, on March 7th).
Then came the cake, the flowers and the speeches, honoring her many years of faithful service to the Kingdom of God and to Nairobi Lighthouse Church. I even read a poem I had written that morning, honoring mom from our family’s perspective.
Then came the gift. Mom has recently gotten a Word from the Lord about her next in life (settling back in the US). So, the gift was a Business Class airline ticket fully paid for by the church. We were all blown away by the show of gratitude and love expressed in so many ways. Congratulations, Mom, Grandma, Great Grandma, Co-founder of Encouragers Unlimited and KKV and most of all faithful servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Poem written by Jon Stern, her 3rd born.
Roses are red, Violets are blue
What can I say of a mother like you?
You cared for me young, you care for me now.
Even when stained by the snort of a cow.
You’ve been there for all of your big family
Your natural family, KKV and NLC too.
Oh what would we do without Jesus in you?
You once were young and now you’re re-fired.
You’ve always encouraged those who were tired.
But all the way back from the time of your youth
You’ve taught us and lived out a wonderful truth.
That God is faithful no matter how things look.
As long as we walk in step with the Book.
And also that our God keeps good books.
You’ve taught us that living for God is the best
And that if we trust Jesus, He’ll take care of the rest.
So, as we celebrate your life here today.
Just rest in the fact that we’re here to stay.
As we follow your example of following Jesus.
Loving the people that Jesus has sent us.
And staying in places that God has planted us
You know that we’ll go wherever He leads us.
Roses are red, violets are blue
I know what to say of a mother like you…
Thank you from the bottom of my heart…
I love you and appreciate you…
Happy Ninetieth Birthday…