I am the youngest in my family. One of my strongest memories of Larry happened when I was 5 years old. That day Larry told me that he was leaving home and was not coming back. I really liked Larry so it was traumatic for me and my three sisters.
He did leave home that day and never returned home to live again. Larry had a lot of conflict with the standards of our folks and he basically turned his back on Christianity that day. These events started a bombardment of heaven for his salvation. He did come home infrequently at Christmas and a few other special occasions.
He married, and in 1962 they moved from Regina to San Diego, California. Our visits with them became less frequent but every time they came to Canada or we went there we all enjoyed those visits. Larry had a charismatic personality and we always had such great fun things to do with him.
Larry was very careful to isolate his family from anything to do with God even though he tried hard to raise his kids with the values he grew up with. He began a flooring store in Le Mesa and when my wife and I were married, he asked us to come down to live there and learn the flooring trade. We were able to get a short term training visa that allowed us to learn the trade with enough income to stay alive. He so much wanted us to stay and work with him in the business, however, we did not want to be so far away from our families as we were raising our family, so we returned to Canada.
We sought to keep some contact with them over the next forty plus years. It was hard, but I believe God had his hand in allowing it to happen.
We planned a trip in 2012 to go with our daughter and family to Disneyland. Julene and I went down early to spend time with Larry. Much to our surprise we found Larry so much more open and we spent an extra day with them at his request. Only God could have foreseen that visit as so much communication was opened up.
About a year later he was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour. When I called him he asked me to come down ASAP. I arrived there on July 4th and they had a huge picnic with all his family, including grandkids and great-grandkids. Later on in that visit I had a time of private conversation with him and he asked me to pray for him. I asked, “How do you want me to pray?” He said, “I have to get right with God.” I had a lifetime marker in my life that day when I was able to lead him to Jesus and he found forgiveness and acceptance.
That evening when I got back to where I was staying I had hours of laughing and crying, overwhelmed by what had happened and that God would allow me, the youngest of my family, this amazing privilege. In a later visit to see Larry, my wife had the joy of leading Larry’s daughter to the Lord. Larry passed into heaven in 2014.
Be encouraged God never gives up on calling our lost family member to himself…keep on praying!