When we pastored near Chicago, portions of Methodism was abuzz with the Lay Witness Mission. Our church sent over 40 to share their Christ-following stories. These “witnesses” traveled to inviting churches in surrounding states.
The space program was in high gear. We adapted the phrase, “Spashdown.” The people returned home and gathered with 15-20 who celebrated their experience and their weekend ministries.
We listened to weekend experiences, asked questions sang, prayed, ate munchies and praised God. Of that group one or two became pastors; others developed ministries and gave their talents and gifts for use in industries and local churches.
At the heart of those Splashdown events was Marilyn and Gary Hansen. Hansens moved to Ashville, NC and then to Wilmore, Ky. Through all of the moves they served on the Board of Benton Ministries, Inc offering wisdom, support of every kind, loyalty and tons of encouragement and vocalized affection.
The past two weeks have been filled celebrating the life, faith and family of Marilyn Hansen. After decades of serving several churches as executive secretary and establishing a Caring Ministry and becoming a hospital chaplain, she went home to be with Jesus. I have fixated on her arrival in Heaven as a Splashdown event—home from another place.
I’m assuming the Lord placed Psalm 68:6 on my mind as descriptive of our 50 years with Marilyn: “God places the lonely in families….”
A Rusty Goodman song came as part of that welcoming time:
As you go down your list of firsts, there’s no questionWe’re gonna want to see our loved ones awaiting me and youAnd when you feel you’ve shared your story with the last oneThat wants to hear you tell, just how you made it throughLook for me, I’d like to hear it tooI realize when you arrive, there’ll be so much to viewAfter you’ve been there ten thousand years, a million, maybe twoLook for me, for I will be there too.…
While Marilyn told her stories of God’s faithfulness, we told stories of her battle with Parkinson’s and the challenge of writing a book of those battles and her mission. “Broken Unto Wholeness,” (Marilyn Hansen, ©2019—available from Amazon).
Thank you, Marilyn for your obsession with saying thanks and telling your story and talking about Jesus.
©2021 D. Dean Benton—one of the tribe of “I’d like to hear it too.”