So hey, I finally retired at the end of 2020!… but not from life or ministry. I just said goodbye to my office at the Central Presbyterian Church in St. Louis where I’ve served for more than 42 years and it’s been a fun ride since!
Sharon and I spent most of 2020 during the “lock-down” at our family home in Bodega Bay, California where I preached, sang, had meetings and kept in touch with my friends online as did many of you! (Who knew that Zoom would become the largest church in the world!!)
In 2021 I had mission trips to Hungary where I performed with an awesome choir and orchestra directed by our missionary, Tunde Futo and I took what may be my final trip (for a while anyway) to Ukraine to preach, teach and sing with my friends at Irpin Seminary just before the war began.
The seminary was bombed and burned down during the war with Russia and we pray that it will be rebuilt one day soon. Many of my friends lost their homes as well. As many of you know, I’ve been ministering in Ukraine for over 30 years and I’m in communication with many of my friends almost every day. They continue to minister during the war and are feeding, clothing, housing and ministering to those in need. In spite of the horrific tragedy that Putin has brought upon Ukraine, there are many coming to Jesus in the midst of all of it. God continues to redeem all things! (Psalm 130)
In 2022, I was part of a mission team to Portugal with Pastor Clay Smith and his wife Missy and with my girlfriend and bride, Sharon. We had a wonderful time teaching, preaching and worshipping with our missionaries, the Pires family. I returned to Honduras in March and will lead a team once again to Iraq in December.
I did my last concert after more than 40 years with my “All Star Band.” A great night and we raised $30K for Ukraine! I’ve also done a number of weddings and funerals and I had the joy of preaching again at Central this past June. I’ve also enjoyed sharing at “Worship by the Pool” on a couple of occasions with many friends!
Sharon and I also celebrated 43 years of marriage on June 9th! We celebrated by being extras in the TV show, “The Chosen.” It was fun to be a part of such a wonderful show, hot in Texas, but fun! *(See article that follows with more details and photos.)
My brother and sisters and I said goodbye to my beautiful Mom recently and we will celebrate her life in California later this summer as we meet together at one of her favorite spots, Newport Beach, where my family spent many summer vacations. Mom always wanted her ashes to be sprinkled as sea, so we’re hopping on a boat and having a party in her honor! She’d love it!!
In other big news… our Alaskan kids and grandbabies have moved after 14 years to the lower 48. They moved to Ohio near Brian’s family. It will be only an 8 hour drive to visit them and hopefully, we’ll get more time with the babies! It was an eventful 5 day journey by Ferry and car to Ohio with all of their belongings, two kids and a dog!
Sharon and I are looking forward to finishing 2022 well and we’re excited about what the future brings us!
God bless, Randy