05 Aug Last Letter from Dr. Earl Jessup
First of all, thank you for praying so faithfully for us. Secondly, thanks for your faithfulness to this ministry. And lastly, thank you for all the cards and notes. They have been so encouraging.
This morning, we were given the news that this new problem is cancer, and it is going to take my life within weeks. Likely, I will not get out of the hospital unless hospice has the ability to handle the amount of oxygen I need. Oh, please do not weep for me. The Lord has done so much in the six extra years He has given us.
Thankfully, in June at the annual meeting God led us to prepare for this day. We passed a motion for Brother Jeremy Rowland to become the General Director, and I would become the Executive Director beginning July 1. We planned a big announcement and video for social media for September 1 and trips to regions of the States to meet with pastors to share our plans. Well, here is the big announcement but with lots less fanfare! He has actually been doing these responsibilities for several years, and I have been doing executive work during that time. It was just making it official.
Now listen carefully, please. Nearly two-thirds of the finances for the ministry come through what most of you call support for the Jessups. This is the money that has kept this ministry planting churches for these many years. You have actually been supporting the General Fund and I just receive a salary. If you discontinue this investment in the ministry, it will drastically affect the number of churches planted. PLEASE, OH PLEASE don’t let that take place. We need this ministry now more than ever.
My wife will continue with the ministry as a writer, proofreader, and consultant. She will receive a reduced salary until she retires at seventy-five. If you want to say you are supporting her, that will be fine, but she will receive a salary just like the rest of us.
If you want to do something financial in honor of my entrance to that which is real, a fund for the ministry will be set up. It will be protected in an endowment fund to be used for the ministry with approval by a committee of board members. Later, others may contribute to this fund if you choose to invest your estate in something that will last until the Lord comes. I pray that you will.
The Lord allowed my final request. I wanted to minister until the final weeks of my life. Just a few shorts weeks ago, my wife and I led a young lady to Christ and just this past week, our daughter led her sister to the Lord. The week before I got sick, I taught my Sunday School class at the church. We have continued to work with young couples mentoring them as best we can and the very night I took the fever, Beth and I had made a visit to a lady just given the diagnosis of terminal cancer. He has been so very good to us!!!!!!!!
Pastor Noel Cwenar will be preparing the arrangements for the funeral, and it will be held in Rogers, AR. He and I are in daily contact, and he will work with Julia to keep you as informed as possible.
Thanks for traveling with me over these years. It has been quite the journey and while my departure is near, the journey of helping churches reproduce churches is far from over. Prayerfully, it will continue till Jesus comes. I pray you will be a part of it through this ministry.
Please do not pray for healing. Pray for grace for these final days. We are comfortable with how the Lord has led the summer and we KNOW He knows what He is doing. As Pastor Ed Johnson would say to me, “Earl, you are not going to live one day longer or one day less than God wants you to, so go about your business.” I have tried to do that. I pray for you. I pray for God to keep you strong in the faith and walking with him.
Thanks again for all you have done. Each of you have been a Godsend to us and without your faithfulness to us, this couldn’t have been done. This ministry is as much yours as ours.
This is the last letter from me. Brother Rowland will take it from here, and I can assure you, you are in very capable hands!!!!!!
May the Lord richly bless you!!!!!!!
Co-Laborers Together in the Great Commission,
Earl D. Jessup