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August 17th, 2009

                We interrupt the reflections on John Calvin for an important tribute to two faithful readers of The Corinthian.  They are not members of Corinth, but they probably read our newsletter as thoroughly as most of our members, if not more so. 

Their names are Richard and Virginia Thompson.  Some people call them Dick and Myrtle.  I call them Mom and Dad.

On August 16, they will celebrate sixty years of marriage.   

Married in 1949, they made their way to what was then West Pakistan the following year.  There they served as missionaries until 1968.  Later my folks served in Iran (1976-79), the United Arab Emirates (1979-85), and the U.S.  Their calling and passion has always been to share the love of Jesus and the good news about him with Muslim people.

But this brief tribute is not about their missionary career.  It’s about their marriage.  Sixty years of it, producing five children, 17 grandchildren, and their first great grandchild on the way in Iowa.

Like most couples, Mom and Dad are different in many ways.  My 2003 doctoral thesis on mainline churches in the Bible belt began with a note about my being the son of a “mainline Methodist missionary” kid who married a “very southern Baptist girl.” Dad’s an introvert and Mom’s an extrovert.  Mom is the public speaker, while Dad prefers one-on-one. 

Dad’s more laid back.  Mom always has a task list a mile long.  (Wonder which one I take after?)  They’re now in their eighties, and that hasn’t changed.  During a recent phone call, Mom was telling me how busy she’s been – working with my sister to organize six decades of accumulated paper.  Dad chimed in, “I’ve been busy staying out of the way.”

They are different, but their bond of love is unbroken.

Mom and Dad, I’m so proud to be your son.  Thank you for being a model of commitment to Christ and to each other for six decades.  May you enjoy many more years of health, happiness, and service to the Master.

For pictures from our celebration weekend, click here.

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