The truths of Ecclesiastes 3:1-5 are very fresh in my heart as of the last couple of months. Some of those are, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted . . . A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.”
My family and I were invited to preach at one of our supporting churches on the Mainland back at the beginning of March. While there, we were able to see Krista’s grandfather near St. Louis, where he had been in a senior care facility and designated to hospice. It was a sweet time for our boys to meet their Great-Grandpa Baker. He was in World War II and spent time serving in the Pacific Theatre.
When we got back to Oahu, our island soon began closing things. Since the middle of March, Krista has been homeschooling the boys, and our regularly scheduled church services have been done on Facebook Live. We have a Sunday morning service with my family, where we will drive to our rented meeting place and meet in our room. Most of our members and regulars have been tuning in. On Wednesday nights, we have our prayer and Bible study at our home via Facebook Live as well.
On March 18, I learned that my Uncle Pele had gone to the hospital for some kidney pain. He had been there in previous weeks for the same pain with kidney stones. Upon visiting him at the hospital, we learned that he had cancer that had spread from that region of his body to his bones. I was surprised to be able to see him, because the Coronavirus had shut down access to most patients. After getting my temperature scanned on my forehead, I was able to get in to see him. After I got into my uncle’s room, a nurse soon came in to perform the daily routine. I began to pray for an opportunity to be alone and undisturbed in order to chat with him. I had witnessed to my uncle on a few different occasions and had learned that he had some bitterness toward the Lord as a result of having lost several of his loved ones. I was nervous but had prayed for several years for the Lord to open a door and his heart to the Gospel. The nurse finally left, and I then proceeded by telling my uncle that he had loved ones who were already in Heaven, as well as loved ones on earth who were on their way to Heaven who would like to know that he would be there with them. I then told him the Bible said that he could be certain that he was on his way, and then I proceeded to share with him the Gospel. After I explained that the Bible says we are all sinners and about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, I encouraged him to call on the Lord and ask Him to save him. My uncle responded by saying, “Me pray?” I said, “Yes, Uncle, you need to call out to Him.” After a few more minutes, my Uncle Pele called on the Lord and asked Him to save him. As the Bible says in Ecclesiastes 3:4, it was a time to dance! Another miracle happened when I learned a few days later that my uncle had told some of his boys (my cousins) that he had prayed a nice prayer with me. A couple of these cousins knew what that meant, as they had called on the Lord in salvation as well.
A few days later, we learned that my uncle’s cancer was terminal. For the last several weeks after church, we have been driving to the North Shore, about an hour away, to see him and be with family. On April 26, shortly after we got into town, he met the Lord face to face and will be with Him and loved ones for all eternity. My uncle was a spear fisherman, a farmer, and a hard worker. You would have loved him.
On April 27, we learned that Krista’s Papa Baker had tested positive for COVID-19, and on May 1, he translated to Heaven as well. Papa Baker was an avid Cubs fan and a fun and wonderful man to be around. We rejoice knowing that he had trusted Christ as Saviour as well.
Please prayer for grace, comfort, wisdom, and opportunities to share the Gospel during these unusual times. Thank you for your prayers and support. We appreciate you so very much.
The Marasco Family
Praise Report and Prayer Requests
· Praise the Lord for many souls saved!
· Please pray for the growth of those recently saved.
· Please pray for normalcy to resume our regular meetings.