January 13 2002 at 10:29 PM
This is completely off topic from the rest of the message board, but since when have we ever worried about that? Indulge me a moment, if you will, but I'd like to take a brief moment to tell you about a very special man. A man who has made a world of difference in the lives of many people, and who left this world in but a brief instant just hours ago.
Wesley Calvary has been a missionary to Japan ever since the mid 1950s (Confirmed dates: 1954 - 2002). Married to my father's oldest sister, Aileen, he has spread the word of God, and of our Savior Jesus Christ, to a nation of people whose culture (at the time they went there) was as alien to ours as the moon was to our Earth. Less than a decade had passed since our two nations had been in a brutal and costly war, but Wesley went with a bright hope and curiosity to know these people. Christianity was not an easy concept to explain to a people who believed that their Emperor was an incarnation of God, and who worshiped their ancestor's spirits.
Amongst their efforts to share the word of God, they also adopted and fostered many Japanese orphans over the years. Two of which I have grown up calling cousin, and have known over the years as they have lived here in the USA ever since I was a young child. Rebecca and Johnathon came to the States to go to college, and eventually started their own families here. My cousin, Wesley and Aileen's only biological son, Michael, growing up along side them as any sibling would.
In the past two decades they have seen the success of their church really blossom even beyond what I think their hopes had ever dreamed. Sharon Gospel Church, in Maebashi, Gunma, Japan, has become extremely popular with the Japanese people from many cities around them. American Style weddings have become all the rave in the past decade or so, and Uncle Wesley performed an average of 10 to 20 weddings each week. In fact, he performed three of them just yesterday, and then had the normal worship services today (or I should say yesterday, since they are 15 hours ahead of our time.)
Around 9:30 Am Monday morning (6:30 PM our time, this evening), uncle Wesley took the family dog for his usual morning walk. He had complained of being a little bit tired, but he figured it was a bit of left over jet lag from their trip to Hawaii last week. Just outside their home he collapsed and fell unconscious. We have not heard for sure, but it is believed he has a heart attack. Neighbors seem to believe that he was dead instantly, and suffered no pain.
The news has hit us pretty hard, back here in the States, as family members, scattered all over the US are calling one another to relay the message. Aunt Aileen is still in shock, and I don't hink it has quite registered that he has been taken away so quickly. My primary source of comfort is knowing that he was secure in his realationship with the Lord; and I can be confident that he is now resting in a much better place that even all of the beautiful wonders he saw while here on earth.
Wesley Calvary was an amazing person, and one I always held in a measure of awe. I didn't know him half as much as i would have liked to, but I am thankful for the moments we got to spend with one another... few as they might have been. I am thankful that he and Aileen were able to come and stay in our home last Summer. It is now a time that I will look back upon with much more fondness than I might have even a day ago.
God bless you, Wesley. May your spirit rest in Heaven as you wait for the rest of us to join you some day.