April 1, 2014

A Calm Hope

The first time Debbie and I saw Katrina, she had dropped from her two pound, three ounce birth weight to one pound, fourteen ounces. Standing beside her incubator with her parents, Gary and Gaylen Olson (read Gaylen’s story), we saw more cords and monitors than baby—Katrina was so tiny she could be held in her dad’s palm. Though we were there to pray for Katrina, words escaped me. My pained expression probably telegraphed what I was thinking: “This baby is not going to make it!” After a time Gary asked, “Aren’t you going to congratulate us?” Clearly, he and his wife had what the medical staff and I were lacking at that moment: hope! Gaylen and Gary were the rightly proud parents of a beautiful baby, so we offered our congratulations and the assurance that many were praying for Katrina. Initially, it appeared that though Katrina was under the best neonatal care Oregon Health Science University hospital could provide, that would not be enough. However, seeing the parents’ concerned yet calm response served as a reminder that Katrina was in God’s hands, and that would be enough.

Gaylen grew up in Roseburg, Oregon, where my family is from. Unlike me, she spent many Sundays in church—in fact, she was present the first time I attended an Apostolic Faith service in 1974. I soon was off again to college, married, and ended up in our Dallas, Oregon church. Gaylen continued in Roseburg until she married Gary, the pastor’s son. Before long, Gary was attending Oregon State University while Gaylen worked at a local bank, and on Sundays, Debbie and I were among those who took turns hosting them when they came to Dallas for church services. After graduating, Gary’s job led them to move to Dallas where we all participated in the music and Sunday school departments of the church. We had great times serving the Lord together. We were there when their three daughters were born, even babysitting occasionally. In fact, during the girls’ growing up years, they took turns wearing our daughter’s hand-me-down skirts, blouses, and dresses, most of which were handmade by Debbie.

Katrina grew up healthy, got saved, married, and now has two sons of her own. She and her sisters were saved young and are faithfully serving God in the Apostolic Faith. Whether in times of crisis or dealing with everyday needs, Gaylen and Gary have looked to God, who faithfully kept them calm and gave them hope. He is willing do the same for you! As you read Gaylen’s story and the other articles in this issue of Higher Way, we pray you will also be inspired to consistently look His way.

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