Humanly speaking, 50 years is a long time. How many of you can remember where you were 50 years ago? I can't because I haven't reached that milestone yet. That was 1957, and I wasn't born until two years later. Think of all the things that have happened in the last 50 years: econmical jet travel, missions to the moon, computers, e-mail, IM, independence for most African countries, many wars, the growth of evangelicalism, the Lausanne Covenenant, Islamic resurgence, people pushing for all kinds of "rights".
From God's perspective, of course, amd even considering the recorded history of the world, 50 years is a mere cursor blip on the screen. Casting Crowns sings a song that inculdes the following words:
"I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapor in the wind..."
The song goes on to say,
"...Still you hear me when I'm calling
Lord, you catch me when I'm falling
You show me who I am:
I am yours...."
Isn't it great to know that we are His? That we belong to Him and that He controls all the years of our lives?
Fifty years ago an event happened that has great significance for my life even though I wasn't there when it happened: my parents got married. If it wasn't for that event, I wouldn't be here!! The date was 15 June 1957. To celebrate this great milestone, family and friends from near and far came together at Trinity Covenant Church in Manchester, CT, on 24 June 2007. We had a grand celebration remembering 50 years of God's faithfulness. I am the oldest of four boys, all of whom are in the picture below.
Nancy, myself, and our two children, Daniel and Suzanne, traveled from Africa to be there for the big day. Jim and Beth Anne and their boys along with two girlfriends came from New Jersey. Tim, Laurie, and boys, who livein Manchester, were all there. And Dave (the one who looks like me) flew in from Oklahoma. His wife Debbie and their four were unable to come, and we missed them. In addition, my mom's four sisters and their living husbands (one died of cancer two years ago) all came from Seattle, Washington. See the picture of my mom and dad (on the extreme right) and the sisters with their husbands on the left. The woman to the left of my mom is Aunt Muriel. Her husband, Uncle Sev, is the one who died.

My dad's brother came from Florida with his daughter (my cousin) and her husband. There were other guests, mostly members of Trinity Covenant Church, where my parents have attended for 30 years and where my dad has been pastor of missions and mentoring for many years. Others came from CT and from Florida.

The relatives arrived on various days of the week before the big day. We arrived from Africa on Monday, June 18. Those from Washington came in to Hartford on Thursday, June 21. The relatives from Florida were there on Saturday, June 23. And my brother from Oklahoma also came in on Saturday. We had a picnic at Tim and Laurie's on Friday, June 22. Unfortunately, it was cold and rainy. Saturday noon all the relatives that had arrived went to a Chinese buffet. And all the older generation went to a nice restaurant Saturday evening. That did not include anyone under 50.
Sunday afternoon, 24 June, on a glorious sunny day, we four boys hosted a reception for my parents at Trinity Covenant Church. We estimated about 200 people showed up. That was an excellent turnout to honor two who have modeled fithfulness and godliness to us all. Many could not make it. A 45-minute program in the sanctuary was well-received. Mom and Dad surprised us by making a powerful 20-minute DVD which included pictures I had never or rarely ever seen of them and us when we were growing up.

Fifity years. In this crazy world, where commitment no longer means what it used to and where people trade spouses like they trade commodities, we are pleased to honor my parents, Bob and Jean DeValve, on their 50 years of married life. Congratulations!

1 comment:

Dusty Penguin said...

Yes, congratulations. 50 years in these times is a rare and wonderful thing. Your mom and dad are wonderful people and have touched many lives. It sounds like a great time of celebration and reunion.