Monday, January 2, 2017

Dear Reverend Stuppy

“Dear Reverend Stuppy,
This past summer we moved from the San Francisco bay area to Yorktown. This was to be our new permanent home where we would establish a new life. Our new life was surely to be but not as we had arranged it.
You must be asking yourself, “Do I know this person?” No, you do not, but I must write to thank you for the beautiful message you consistently provide in the York Town Crier.
Our life was not to be as we arranged, but rather how our Heavenly Father arranged it. For, we have returned to the Bay area, in fear and sorrow for the betrayal by our husband and father. All that we believed was, wasn’t; all that we thought we had, we didn’t; and that wasn’t even the beginning. We were not Christians so we were lacking even the foundation from which all lasting life can be built upon.
Each week, we would receive the York Town Crier, and read through the articles, mostly out of curiosity. I hadn’t attended any church in twenty years, and if I were invited, I would give an excuse, and hope they wouldn’t ask me again. Yet I began to read every word of your articles and wait for the next one. They seemed to have a message rooted in truth, and it always seemed to provide comfort.
One month, and two days ago, I received the Lord, and his Holy Spirit into my life. I had never thought there was any source of strength outside of myself. What a joy to know absolutely know, that I have no strength the Lord. Thank you for your loving message, the one you repeat each time, that we are loved and should trust him in all things. Thank you for your beautiful spirit that touches our lives over three-thousand miles away. In His love, xxxxxxxx”
I received this letter in 1991. I treasure it. It reminds me that we never know who the Lord will reach through the words we speak. When I preach in church or teach in Bible Class, I know who is listening. That’s not the case with the articles I’ve written since December of 1987. There is no way to know who or how many people read them. One person told me they cut out my article and send it to their friends.
This Sunday, I am moving to Germany for three years or more to serve there as a civilian chaplain. My wife, Marge, and I are excited about this new chapter in our lives but we will miss all our friends and family here in Virginia.

As I leave, I wish to thank the owners of the Crier, past and present, for allowing me to share God’s Word with you each week. I wish also to thank the sponsors of the church page. I also thank you, the readers, and for your gracious comments and feedback over these 30 years. The York Town Crier is a unique paper and serves the community well. I pray that it will be there for years to come. May God bless you all! Auf Wiedersehen.