For over two weeks I have not been able to write a post. For some unexplainable reason, each time I started, I felt like it just wasn't the right time. Oh, I had plenty of things to write about. Several of you had sent me things. I also knew four stories that needed to be shared, but for some reason or another, I just couldn't do it. Now, I know why. I needed to wait for yesterday, October 22, to happen in one of those four stories.
My husband, Steve, wrote this this morning. He has given me permission to share it with you.
TWO TELEPHONE CALLS
Call number one: This past May, Stacy, my oldest brother, called me from Rochester, MN and said, “Steve, we have a Christian family from Minnesota who has temporarily moved to Philadelphia, PA. The man is seeking cancer treatment and I was wondering if you could reach out to them?” I asked Stacy their names and telephone number and contacted the family immediately. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that as a teacher at York College (1995-2002), I knew the wife and mother of the family, as well as all of her siblings as ex-YC students.
A few days later, on Saturday, May 30, I put some groceries together for the family and drove across the river to Philadelphia. I visited with Scott and Bonita and their four little children in their single-bedroom efficiency – thus beginning a relationship that will forever impact my life for good. Scott gave me his “card” that on one side is the picture of his and Bonita’s four children with the statement, “We pray for our Daddy”; on the other side the words “GOD IS GOOD” (Psalm 73:1) and the following note – “Your prayers for Scott’s healing are greatly appreciated. His updates can be found on the following website. www.caringbridge.org/visit/scottmcendree”. (OR, over on the right sidebar on their family picture)
The next day, Sunday (May 31, 2009), the McEndree family drove 45 minutes to worship with us and participate in our 5th Sunday fellowship. The children loved the hot dogs! Scott put it this way on his daily post:
Sunday, May 31, 2009 8:36 PM, CDT
Scott never felt very good – he just didn’t want to miss anything! On Wednesday night, July 22, 2009, before the McEndrees returned home to Minneapolis, MN to decide further treatment, Patti and I had them and the Mansdoerfer family over to our house for supper. Afterwards, we all went to our Pitman Wednesday night prayer meeting where the elders called Scott and Bonita and children up front and prayed over them. After receiving the elders’ blessing, Scott, blessed our church family. This simple act epitomized Scott McEndree: he was blessed and he blessed. Praise be to God!
Even after the McEndree family moved back to Minnesota, we kept up with them through their website. Hardly a prayer session went by without someone praying for Scott’s healing and for Bonita’s strength and courage as well as for the entire McEndree family. The months of August, September, and our present October found Scott and Bonita continuing to pursue any cancer treatment leads possible, asking for prayers all along the way.
Scott lived life to the full as much as anyone I’ve ever met! He continued to work when possible, he and Bonita took their kids to the park, Phillies’ games, fishing, to the softball field, to the pool, and of course, to church. Plus, Scott went camping on two separate occasions in the last two months. Almost a month ago before their flying to Reno, NV to see about another cancer treatment option, one of our brothers from the church, Brian Mansdoerfer, spent a week with Scott and some other men on a camping trip just south of the Canadian border. What a man’s man! What a husband and father! What a brother in Christ! What a friend!
Call number two: My brother, Stacy, called me again yesterday afternoon (2:54 pm EDT, October 22, 2009) and said, “Steve, Scott McEndree has died and gone on to be with the Lord.” I cried out “Oh, No!”
After hanging up, I wept and wept. This morning during our men’s Friday a.m. prayer session, I couldn’t stop weeping for Bonita and the children. Yes. I know Scott is in a much better place; I know he is no longer suffering; I know he is where we all long to be. But, I can’t help but cry for a faithful young widow who freely gave years of her life, since 2002, to serve her husband and stand in the gap for his healing. My mind races back to one of Scott’s earlier website post about his thoughts about his wife, Bonita:
Friday, March 20, 2009 1:01 PM, CDT:
"I think of all I’ve been through
Two phone calls: I am forever blessed. I was introduced to a family where the man was the godly shepherd of his flock and the woman, his strong helpmate and loving companion. I came to love and admire four little children, who even in their own unique personalities and different sets of energies and inquisitiveness were so obedient to their parents and exceptionally respectful and kind to others. I witnessed a family as I believe God envisioned family to be. Not perfect – just as complete as I’ve ever witnessed a family. Now a great loss has come and I cry out,
I’ll finish my thoughts today with one of Scott’s website posts over eight months ago (February 8, 2009) and a word from God:
“The personal challenge I face is
to keep my chin up and walk forward.
Many of us are able to praise God
when our lives are going well.
How many of us know we can praise God
during the storm?
It makes me think of the Casting Crown’s song
“Praise You In This Storm.”
Here is a link to the song lyrics
if you are not familiar with the song http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/castingcrowns/praiseyouinthisstorm.html
My heart is torn,
but I will praise the God who gives and takes away.
To help us praise God everyday through these treatments,
Bonita and I have been gathering some scriptures
and what we’d like to do is post a scripture everyday.
We will be thinking on and praying on
these scriptures each day and
would encourage you to do the same…”
“Therefore, having been justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
2 through whom also we have obtained
our introduction by faith
into this grace in which we stand;
and we exult in hope of the glory of God.
3 And not only this,
but we also exult in our tribulations,
knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;
4 and perseverance, proven character;
and proven character, hope;
5 and hope does not disappoint,
because the love of God
has been poured out within our hearts
through the Holy Spirit
who was given to us.
6 For while we were still helpless,
at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man;
though perhaps for the good man
someone would dare even to die.
8 But God demonstrates
His own love toward us,
in that while we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us.
9 Much more then,
having now been justified by His blood,
we shall be saved
from the wrath of God through Him.
10 For if while we were enemies
we were reconciled to God
through the death of His Son,
much more, having been reconciled,
we shall be saved by His life.
11 And not only this,
but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have now received the reconciliation.”
God is good.
NOTE FROM PATTI:
Christians understand that this world is full of struggle, challenges, and heartache. We believe that no matter our circumstances, God is good all the time and that God always keeps His promises. Therefore, we look forward to eternal life.
On October 22, Scott's family posted this on his Caring Bridge site:
- God called Scott home this morning. Information to follow.
- Psalm 100:5
For the LORD is good
and His love endures forever;
His faithfulness continues
through all generations.