Last week was a bittersweet experience for me. My mentor, Conrad Beiber, went home to be with the Lord. When I heard the news I called his wife, Carmen, to share my love, comfort and support. She told me at that time that he had planned out his “ideal” funeral service which he’d handwritten and tucked into his Bible before he died. Part of it was that he wanted me to preach it. So last week my wife, Chris, and I headed to south-central Louisiana to participate in Conrad’s funeral services. We arrived the night before to attend the wake: a time when family and friends pay their respects, usually at the funeral home. It was my great honor to share and pray with Conrad’s five sons. We remembered the life and legacy of this humble servant and I had the opportunity to express my love and appreciation for their dad’s investment in my life. I also shared how he had not only had a profound impact on my life but also on the lives of so many over the years. I shared that their father was like a second dad to me and took comfort when they told me he always saw me as a son. Through the years, Conrad and Carmen were lay leaders in student and young adult ministry. Through their small church they ministered to hundreds and hundreds of students and young adults. In addition, Conrad was a godly deacon and a friend to the pastor. He was a man of sterling character, compassion and conviction. At one time, when I was a new believer, I needed nurture and direction, and God allowed Conrad and Carmen to come into my life. They modeled what it looked like to follow Jesus and serve. In addition, Conrad discipled me and was my mentor for over forty years. I will be forever grateful for the investment and enrichment this man has made in my life! “ 13 Then I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “so they will rest from their labors, since their works follow them.” Revelation 14:13 (CSB)
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