One of the amazing and greatest blessings of living across the street from Downey First Baptist was the family that moved into the house in front of ours. Earl and Connie Degrafft, who went to church with us, who were almost empty nesters (Susan was in high school, but the older 4 were grown), who very quickly became our family. We shared a yard and a washer, but we shared more than that. We shared meals. We played games. We shared laughter and music and even our cat! We learned so much; it was really lopsided to receive so much more than we ever gave. In a word we became family! My kids know them as Grandpa and grandma De!
Last Saturday I got the word that Earl’s health was failing. I drove down to visit my heroic friend and pray with him. He went home to heaven Tuesday morning. There are so many things I can say about this man but I am so overwhelmed with grief and gratitude that I barely know where to begin.
Thank you Lord for the gift of Earl (and Connie) Degrafft. Thank you for the impact on my life, my marriage and ministry. Please comfort Connie and give her peace as she enters this dark valley of grief. Grant her sleep and hope for the rest of her journey home. Amen.