"...Instead, store up for yourselves wealth in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and burglars do not break in or steal..." ~ Matthew 6:20
When someone we love enters into glory, we can be overwhelmed from the finality of it all. We may scrutinize our own life, and ponder over what would happen if death knocked on our door unexpectedly. If we currently have a lot of unfinished business, their deaths can make us very uneasy. This examination can be a positive force in our lives creating within us a determination to live more purposely. Wayne Anderson went into glory with the certainty of many eternal investments. There are individuals who can tell of the times he made heavenly deposits into their lives . At Jesus Cares, we have much to testify regarding the Anderson family's investments into the ministry. In their early years of marriage, with only two in the brood, Wayne and Cindy came and offered themselves willingly. Their amazing flexibility and teachable spirits enabled us to take our first real vacation after being in the ministry for almost 7 years. Not only did they take over in our absence, caring lovingly and faithfully for our foster daughters, they also assisted other houseparents in training. Our first group meeting for former residents was held at their home in Mesa. Wayne and Cindy would organize what was the ministry's first formal attempt at continuing care for those who had been a part of the live-in program. It came to be known as Aftercare and New Hope was the title that they gave to these monthly gatherings. Food was served, guests would come and share their testimonies and teachings, crafts were made, and transportation was provided along with babysitting by my two eldest, Stefanie and Chrissy. Later, the Anderson's own daughters grew to become helpful, young assistants to the women and babies of Jesus Cares Ministries.
Whether for a few hours on a Saturday or several weeks at a time, the Andersons didn't just come and houseparent, they would also frequently leave behind a blessing to make our lives more comfortable. Whether it was a new patio, a swing-set or a sturdy bench for the play area, a new Television set or a new kitchen gadget, Wayne and Cindy were determined to make our lives easier. When the ministry was about to double the amount of residents in the program, Wayne and Cindy were ready to take over a new home that could house another 6-8 pregnant teens and their children. This plan came to an abrupt halt when they came to number 5 in their own household and it was now time to change gears and make sure the investments into their own family were adequate. It was at this time that they assumed a supportive role in services the ministry offered to residents and community outreach clients such as helping to develop the purity series which Cindy entitled, "Pure Heart." We still teach this series today. They continued on as long as they could, occasionally staying for weekend visits so we could take respites with our family. When we took time out just for ourselves they would also take over with our own children. As their household grew, they would take girls into their own home for a season to give us much needed rest. The amount of time, help and love they showed our family, as well as the women and babies of Jesus Cares, was really unmatched by any other family. It was a lifeline to us at a very needed time. No matter what the age or attitude of our residents, the Andersons were there offering guidance, unconditional love, and heartfelt compassion. The memories that many of these women have of Wayne's love, care, integrity, sense of humor, and energetic style will live on into eternity.
We are forever grateful to Wayne for setting the standard in his family as they became an outreach and respite for Jesus Cares Ministries, extending their hands and their hearts to those that God would send our way. He will be greatly missed by all. We pray that his life and death will inspire all of us to live for eternal purposes. We pray that many, young or old, will be inspired to examine their heavenly portfolio and choose to invest their talents in the kingdom of God.
Tom and Doreen