Monday, March 28, 2016

What A Friend Is

Audrey Hostetler was part of the founding days of Project Lost Sheep. She lived in a small house off Fair Oaks, a few minutes from where I lived. She and I met at Menlo Park Presbyterian church. Her strong interest in missions brought us together. When I told her about forming a non profit for children, she immediately volunteered to pray for us. She was as good as her word.

Those first meetings at her house always involved some dessert, sharing and prayer. Out of these slender beginnings, she really started to pray while she groomed her client's dog in a shed behind her house.

She had a wonderful gift of hospitality. One rain filled, dreary, February day, I arrived at her house to find a bowl of warm stew and a cozy warm ambience. She was my extreme encourager. We referred to prayer as HOME BASE whenever there was a set back. These happened a lot and we just went back to praying. Margaret Zip joined us and eventually we moved prayer and meetings to the First Baptist Church.

Audrey was thin but strong. I remember her smile of encouragement and her joy of life. She once told me that she finished her hard work day with a good bubble bath and a chapter of a light hearted book. She was a balanced person who knew what it took in missions. She herself had spent a few years in Africa on the mission field.

Her husband had died in his 40ties. She had a long life ahead. She made friends, worked and kept involved. When her brother who lived in Saratoga died suddenly, Audrey decided that it was time for her to move to a retirement community in the Modesto area. I was sorrowful as to how we would go on.

Of course there were phone calls and Christmas presents exchanged, but with her departure, phase one of Project Lost Sheep was over. Audrey was an unforgettable friend. Her memory will last in those who knew her and perhaps inspire others to pray big prayers for children.

Let us thank God for Audrey Hostetler who dug a very deep and real foundation in prayer for us. She served her Lord well here on earth and now is experiencing nothing but everlasting joy.

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