Posted by: សារ៉ា(Sarah) | June 16, 2013

Tribute to a Resting Soldier

Words fail to express the burden of the heart, but writing helps me process.

~*~

The words swam across my screen.  No! my mind screamed.  No!  This can’t be true.  Curt Mathisen is fine.  I talked with him over potluck lunch just last Sabbath, and he sent me an email only a few days ago.

But the words stared back, cold and harsh, in their unwanted reality:

“[On] Wednesday…Curt experienced chest pain.  The pain was bad enough that they…headed to the hospital.  Before they got to the hospital Curt died of a heart attack….

“I still find it hard to believe.  My heart breaks.  I simply cannot imagine church without Curt’s Sabbath School, or him sitting on the front row, or interpreting the sermon to ASL, or those wonderful Sabbath hikes – not to mention the campmeetings he spearheaded, and the leadership he gave serving as an elder.  There will be a huge hole in our hearts and in the White Salmon church family.”

Yet amid the heartache, tears, and loss, we reflect on a life well lived for his Master’s glory.

Curt lived to love his family and bless others.  This was evident in his care for his sons, one crippled from an accident in early childhood, the other deaf.  Curt was actively involved in ministering to the deaf community, including his deaf daughter-in-law and four grandchildren (two deaf and another possibly loosing her hearing), and also deaf congregations and summer camps.

In addition to deaf ministry, countless people have been blessed over the years through his local dental office.  But his service extended beyond the local community.  He found other opportunities through trips to Alaska to help build up a summer camp for young people who otherwise would never have such privileges and through ministry adventures in Mexico, India, and Fiji.  I experienced my own first ministry opportunity outside of the U.S. on one of the Mexico trips to help with construction at an orphanage, evening health and children’s meetings, and a free dental clinic.  Curt trained me as his dental assistant – a job neither of us were sure I would be able to stomach until we successfully completed the first extraction!

Curt working on one of the orphans in our little Mexico clinic.

Curt working on one of the orphans in our little Mexico clinic.

Curt with a little village girl, happy after her treatment.

Curt with a little village girl, happy after her treatment.

Curt fell asleep in Jesus on June 12, 2013 in Lima, Peru.  He and his wife, Elaina, were traveling to work in a dental clinic there and spend some special time together to celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary.  We miss him terribly, but look forward to the resurrection morning when we will meet him again.  Only eternity will reveal the full extent of this soldier’s labors.

“The voice said, Cry.  And he said, What shall I cry?  All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field.  The grass withereth, the flower fadeth...

“The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth…”

"...but the word of our God shall stand for ever.”  Isaiah 40:6, 8. What is the Word of our God?

“…but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” Isaiah 40:6, 8.

What is the Word of our God?

"Jesus said unto her, I am the Resurrection, and the Life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.”  John 11:25.

“Jesus said unto her, I am the Resurrection, and the Life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” John 11:25.

“For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”  1 Thessalonians 4:16-18.

“For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18.

Please pray for Elaina who is still in Peru making arrangement to come home, hopefully early this week, and for the rest of the family.


Responses

  1. A very well written tribute to Curt Mathisen. His life affected us all. He was truly a good man, and will be greatly missed. Thank-you for sharing this.

  2. Dear Sarah,

    You have such a gift with words. Thank you for posting this wonderful epitaph to our friend Curt. He is and will be missed for a long time to come. I am so thankful that this old earth is not all there is!!! We have a wonderful reunion to look forward to in the future if we are faithful.

    Much Love,

    Carol


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