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From Pat Ward, EM Minister

August 2021


I first met Joe and Cornelia Bain more than 30 years ago.  Their grandchildren went to Otter Creek to Preschool where I was working.  They attended all the programs and birthday parties; but I got to know them even better when their daughter, Laura, began working at the school.  It was easy to see that they loved the Lord and had servant hearts.    Laura always had a project at her house that she wanted her daddy to “work on”.  


I would also run into them at the gym.  They faithfully came together and walked on the treadmills and worked out.  We would always talk about their grandchildren and life.  Somewhere around 2012, Cornelia was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease; and in 2017 got the additional diagnosis of Lewy Body Dementia. 


For people who went to church whenever the doors were opened and exercised routinely, this was hard to hear.  Cornelia began to decline and it soon became evident that she was going to need full-time help.  Joe, once told me that he remembered his vows, “in sickness and his health” and felt called to care for her himself.  As she worsened, he did call for someone to come into their home to help him.  She would become family – they believed an angel sent from God to provide some relief.  


Joe and Cornelia’s life did not look like what they had envisioned anymore.  Whatever came their way, Joe never wavered.  Over the last four years it would get to the point where she didn’t always recognize her family and yet they tenderly continued to care for her.


I read a quote one day by Arne Garborg: 

“To love someone is to learn the song that is in their heart and to sing it to them when they have forgotten.”  Immediately Joe Bain came to mind.  With his tender care, he was singing the song of Cornelia’s heart.   I was struck by this example.  In this world we are living in, it is important to learn each other’s song and sing it when they’ve forgotten. 


That might look very different for each of us, but let us be determined to sing more than we opine right now.  As I listened to Cornelia’s celebration of life, I learned many things about her that I never knew before.  She was a difference maker in this world and another quote I love came to mind.  “There are some who bring a light so great to the world that even after they have gone the light remains.”  As we sing, may we resolve to be people whose light remains after we are gone.


In closing, if Russ or I can ever help you walk through a difficult time, we would love to listen to and spend time with you.


Please mark your calendar for Tuesday, October 19.  On that day, we will host our Annual Evening of Encouragement at the home of John and Kathryn Roberson.  In addition to having dinner together, we will have a Hymn Sing in praise of all that God has blessed us with in the 31 years of Encouragement Ministries. 

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