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"… my brethren are those who hear the word of God and do it", Luke 8: 21.
"He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies", Rev. 3: 13.

(so-called) – their origin, progress and testimony 1827-1959 and onward
<>  " WITH  CHRIST "  <>
"… having the desire for departure and being with Christ,
for it is very much better", Philippians 1: 23.
• 2 0 1 4
Gordon Rainbow
Lois Robertson
• 2 0 0 9
Andrew Robertson
• 2 0 0 7
John Mathison
• 2 0 0 6
Danny Paul

• 2 0 0 4
Roy Devenish
• 2 0 0 3
Robert G. Fear
• 2 0 0 2
Robert H.Smith
Kathleen Stott

• 2 0 0 1
John Hunziker
• 2 0 0 0
Marian Devenish
Charles Dunn
• 1 9 9 9
Jim Soukoreff


This page records available information as to those who have been guests or friends of 'My Brethren',

The information shown comes from family, friends or personal knowledge.

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With Christ – October 4, 2014

From the Funeral Service Booklet - Friday, October 10, 2014 at 11:00 am
Provided by Daniel Soukoreff, Canada

Gordon Arthur Rainbow was born in Toronto on November 11, 1929, son of Arthur and Florence Rainbow. He is the eldest of 3 boys. His brothers are Harvey and Brian. Harvey had two sons, Harvey, Jr. and Martin.

In March, 1949, when Gordon was 16 years old, he accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour. This was an event which was to shape the rest of his life. Here’s how it happened in his own words:

“My family, like many in this country at that time and since, professed no religion at all. I found a copy of Darwin's 'Origin of a Species' and devoured it and was completely deceived by it. Even though I had heard the gospel, as most kids of 13 even now, I thought I knew everything and Darwin wholly reinforced this delusion. We had one little Bible in the house and I got my father's permission to burn it in the furnace. You can see how far I was from the truth.

I joined the youth group of the CCF, the socialist political party from which the NDP developed. Many of the members were either atheists or agnostics. I went to the library and got the books of Marx, Hegel, Lenin and others and was well on my way to being a communist -- but God intervened.

In my high school we used double desks and I was sitting with a boy named Jim who came from a Christian home. He and I were both different from the rest of the class. We spent a good deal of time together and I visited often in his home. His mother was a Christian -- although her husband had left her -- and I know that she and Jim's older sister prayed for me, and they also spoke to me regularly about the gospel. But I was not at all receptive.

Then, one night as I was walking home from their house I had a strange experience, not quite like that of Saul on the Damascus road. I had an overwhelming feeling that I can't quite explain. It caused me to run the rest of the distance home.

I went to my room immediately and fell on my knees and confessed that there indeed was a creator God. Subsequently speaking with Jim's family it was simple to acknowledge the Lord Jesus as my Saviour.

I wrote a poem 'Surpassing Love'. It is a record of my reflections on that wonderful experience. I hope this explanation has not been too long for you. Everyone who comes to Christ comes via a slightly different path but all are led by the Spirit of God.”

On August 28, 1951 he married Betty Reid. He was an accountant by occupation. For many years Gordon preached on the street corners in Toronto near his work. God gave Gordon and Betty 63 happy years together through trial and blessing.

In 1998 Gordon taught himself HTML and founded the My Brethren website. Through this Christian website he was able to contact and encourage many. The site has now become a resource to many Christians. The object of the site in his own words was to be:

1. a testimony to the great truth of Christ and the assembly,
2. a distinct call for return to "first love" for Christ,
3. a resource for a reliable account – and a current application – of the history of those brethren commonly called 'exclusive',
4. a treasury of challenging and edifying ministry,
5. a source of comfort and counsel for all in need.

HYMN 421

What will it be when all life's toil is finished,
And we have entered our eternal rest;
When past forever is the night of weeping,
And with Thee, Lord, we are forever blest!

What will it be when all the strife is over,
And all Thy saints, now scattered far and wide,
Shall be without one shade of variation,
All like Thee, Lord, united by Thy side!

What will it be when sorrow's day is ended,
And pain and grief for ever passed away;
When with Thee, Lord, we share the bright forever,
In perfect peace throughout the perfect day!

What will it be? – In blest anticipation
E'en now our hearts outpour in praise to Thee;
But when we see Thee face to face in glory,
Then purer, sweeter, shall our praises be.

Miss A. Ross

Daniel Soukoreff shared:

I took up Gordon's theme verse in Psalm 30:5:

"For a moment is passed in His anger; a life in His favour; at even weeping cometh for the night, and at morn there is rejoicing."

What a blessed thing it is to know the favour of God.

But because of man's fall into sin, there is not the favour but "the revealed wrath of God from heaven upon all impiety" Romans 1:18

"For the wages of sin is death; but the act of favour of God, eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" Romans 6:23

So eternal life in Christ is viewed here as the great act of favour of God toward the repentant sinner.

Then the apostle connects all blessing and favour with the believer's position in Christ: "he has taken us into favour in the Beloved." Ephesians 1:6

What then would characterise a person who was in God's favour? In this Psalm David tells others of his wonderful God and he worships God.

This marked Gordon, too, he preached on the street for years and he loved hymns and Christian poetry--the worship side.

Jeremy Ng shared:

Gordon Rainbow was certainly someone who would not go unnoticed. Wherever he went, he made his beliefs, preferences, and those he loved, clear to everyone and anyone he met.

Prior to his passing Gordon had been my lifelong friend, having met my parents before they married and knowing both my sister and I since birth. Growing up, I saw him as somewhat of a grandfather figure but more importantly as a mentor to me.

I fondly remember the many times Gordon and Betty invited us to sleepover at their condo as kids, go on day trips, attend meetings, or simply just spend a meal together.

As Gordon got older, it was apparent that we had become very good friends. Though he was less capable of doing his day-to-day activities, I know he greatly appreciated that I was able to help him out. To him, if he needed help with anything, the first step to the solution was always to call Jeremy.

When Gordon and Betty moved to Bethany about 10 years ago, my sister and I enjoyed visiting them both on a weekly basis. The routine was almost always the same: first we would go for a walk outside and visit Bethany residents, have lunch together, and finally we would play dominoes in the afternoon, before doing it all again the following week. Gordon insisted that his dominoes partner was always Rachel, and he also insisted that if his team won it was due to his experience and skill, while if Betty and I won it was simply a fluke.

Last week, I had the privilege of spending the night before his passing by Gordon’s bedside. He made it clear to all of us who had visited that evening that he was at peace with the fact that he was leaving soon, and looked forward to being with the Lord. He was also able to say his final goodbyes and tell us all that he loved us that evening.

Throughout the first half of the night Gordon would open his eyes and glance around the room every once in a while, at which point I would hold his hand and he would briefly look at me and smile before closing his eyes again to rest. Around 3AM he opened his eyes for the last time, and seeing me get up, his last words were “Are you leaving now?” to which I replied “No, I am staying with you for the whole night”. I am not sure if he understood my reply, but he seemed to be at ease after that time until he passed away later that evening.

I think one thing that we can all admire about Gordon is how sharp he was up until the day he passed away. At 84 years old, I think we all can only wish to be half as ambitious as he was as even a few weeks before his passing, he spoke with me about the work he planned to do on his website, the appointments he wanted to make with his healthcare providers, and even discuss with me while he believed I would be most satisfied with a career as a pharmacist as opposed to any other kind of health care provider.

As I conclude, I just wish to share that I am so thankful to have had the privilege of knowing Gordon, and I am also thankful that his period of suffering was both short and as painless as possible.

As a child I once told Gordon and Betty that I considered them to be my second father and second mother. Gordon never forgot about this, frequently reminding me throughout my adult life that I would always be considered his first son, and as much as he expressed that I meant the world to him, he most certainly meant the world to me.

I certainly admired Gordon’s knowledge of the scriptures, thus I end my speech with two verses of the Bible I have thought about the most over these past few days...

“Then Job arose, and rent his mantle and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground and worshiped, and said, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither. The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." Job 1: 20-21.


For ever with Thee, Lord,
And like Thee to be,
For ever with Thee, at Thy coming again;
We'll live in Thy grace, Lord,
We'll gaze on Thy face,
When finished our race, at Thy coming again.

The traits of that face, Lord,
Once marred through Thy grace,
With joy we shall trace at Thy coming again;
With Thee evermore, Lord,
Our hearts will adore,
Our sorrow be o'er at Thy coming again.

We'll sit on Thy throne, Lord,
Confessed as Thine own,
Of all to be known at Thy coming again.
But glory on high, Lord,
Is not like being nigh,
When all is gone by, at Thy coming again.

J.N. Darby

"But I am pressed by both, having the desire for departure and being with Christ, for it is very much better, but remaining in the flesh is more necessary for your sakes..." Philippians 1:23-25

I think Gordon had truly contemplated and come to understand this scripture in the years that I knew him.

Gordon felt a deep desire to be "with Christ" to leave the flesh, with all its aches and worries; but because he cared for Betty and for those around him, for those he once walked in fellowship, and even for guests of his website.

But he was content to stay, giving as much as he was able each day.

The Lord completed his part, and fulfilled what he was given to do subject to God's calling him up, rather than longing for a call for his own ease.

The call always comes, and we can rest "having confidence of this very thing, that he who has begun in you a good work will complete it unto Jesus Christ's day." I know Gordon felt this was true about us all.

Jesus once took a rest on the stern of a ship, when the ship was suddenly rocked by a furious storm, and the disciples on the deck feared for their lives.

There will always be storms: we may be challenged by evil, or by illness, by feeling our own limitations, or sometimes people will be called away from our lives before we are ready to let go of them.

But Jesus is at rest, not just because he already knows the storm won't bring harm or he's just teaching his companions a lesson--those, too, are true--but we should remember Jesus is truly confident in the direction the ship is headed.

And we can be in the good of that confidence, especially once we hear him say, "Peace; be still."


Lord Jesus, Thou, to us hast come,
And hast Thyself made known.
Thy wounded hands and side, O Lord,
To us Thou now hast shown.

Thou speakest peace to every heart,
And we are now at rest.
The Spirit makes us to rejoice
As in Thy presence blest.

Thy voice of love doth to our souls
A holy joy impart,
And draweth from our souls response
To Thee, for who Thou art.

Gordon Rainbow, November 6, 1950

Lord, Thy ways are past our searching,
Infinite Thy holy mind!
Thou dost break earth's links asunder,
To Thyself our souls dost bind.

By the cords of love Thou drawest
Each blest object of Thy grace;
Thou wilt daily keep us near Thee,
Till in heav'n we see Thy face.

Many foes surround our footsteps;
None shall mar our joy in Thee!
Soon will change earth's toil and sorrow
For a bright eternity.

We would trust Thee without seeing,
Knowing that Thy way is best;
Dark or bright, in Thee confiding,
Shall our hearts find peace and rest.

E. H. Chater

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With Christ – February 19, 2014

From: "J.V. Congdon"

Date: Wed, February 19, 2014 8:30 pm

Dear Gordon & Betty,
Our hearts are sad this evening as we must convey "our loss" to you that Lois was called "HOME" this afternoon. However, we rejoice knowing that Lois is with her Lord and Savior and she now has a new address called "Heaven!"

She will be buried next to her beloved husband, Andrew, at the Beachwood Cemetery in Centerville (Hyannis), MA on Cape Cod. The date is tentatively set for Friday morning, February 28th. There will be a brief graveside service.

In 1980 Andrew and Lois asked us if we would help them in their "end of life needs". We agreed and made them a promise that we would help.

It all began in March 2009. Nothing happened the way any of us thought or planned. The Lord Jesus, the originator of life and the sustainer of life, has His plan for each of us and we have participated in His plan for Andrew and Lois. It has been a wonderful honor and privilege for us. We are now more appreciative of the fact that "The Lord Jesus is before all things, and by Him all things consist." Colossians 1:17.

Only by Grace and with love,

Victor and Beryl

P S. "We sorrow not even as others which have no hope." (1 Thessalonians 4:13)

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May 8, 1923 – June 30, 2009

After a lengthy hospitalized illness and operation, in much weakness Andrew was mercifully taken by the Lord on June 30, 2009.

The burial took place on July 7, 2009, in Centerville, MA. Sadly, because of the great breakup since 1959, there were few who could be present.

  • Friends and contacts from earlier years took part including: J. Victor Congdon, Robert Howell and the aged Ben Taylor.

Andrew was not on the internet but had a keen interest in 'My Brethren' and made a number of valuable contributions and suggestions:

see Site News: Thanks to Helpers and Biography: Andrew Robertson


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November 9, 1915 – May 17, 2007

May 19, 2007,
Hi Gordon,
Dad passed away and is finally with our Lord. It was my honour to care for him until his death. Yes, he could be rough but he had many soft spots if you knew where to look.

God bless and keep you and yours, Gordon Mathison.

Obituary is in today's Vancouver Sun as follows:

MATHISON - John Gordon. Born: Liverpool, England, on November 9, 1915; Lived: in Toronto 1953-1989, in BC until May 17th, 2007.

With much sorrow we announce the passing of John Mathison, leaving his son, Gordon, daughter-in-law Donna, and granddaughters Chantelle and Erin, providers of his last earthly home. All were by his side as he passed peacefully into the Lord's embrace.

  • He also will be sadly missed yet forever remembered by his oldest son, William.

  • He is predeceased by his beloved wife, Anne "Nan" (1995), daughter Rosemary (1997) and grandson Jonathan (2003) and lovingly remembered by his other grandchildren, Paul, Alison, Jenny, six great-grandchildren and nephews and nieces overseas.

  • For nearly nine decades he had trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior and relied on the assurance of a glorious future with Him.

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January 3, 1918 – May 13, 2006

Our sister Lila Paul wrote: Dear Gordon and Betty,
My darling husband, my sweet Danny went to be with the Lord on the 13th May at 4 a.m. He developed fever on Lord's Day 7th May morning …

[Danny was 88 on January 3, 2006 and, on account of great bodily weakness, had been confined to bed for some months. GAR]

Some extracts from 'Account of the burial meeting for my beloved husband Victor Daniel Paul, held at 5 p.m., on 14 May 2006, at the Delhi Cantonment Cemetery, Delhi'.

… Brother Rahmat Masih spoke feelingly about Daniel's fervent love and zeal for the Lord, his great desire to be at the meetings in spite of his bodily weakness, that Daniel and Lila would come in time for the meetings all the way from Gurgaon, and Daniel would sing the hymns with great joy, his favourite being the hymn,'Rock of Ages cleft for me' …

Brother Rupin Desai spoke: I have known Daniel since my school days and now as I look back over the years, in retrospect, many moments of my contact with him come to the fore.

Our brother Rahmat Masih has remarked that the hymn "Rock of Ages' was one of his favourite hymns. This was so because our brother Daniel had a deep sense of Christ as the Rock …

  • In that faith our brother both lived and died, now awaiting the "better resurrection" of Hebrews 11, along with our sister, his wife Lila who cared for him with the utmost devotion till the end, with whom we sorrow, but not "as others who have no hope".

Lila Marilla Paul

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August 16, 1917 – October 13, 2004

The Lord Jesus took our beloved brother I. Roy Devenish to Himself on Wednesday, October 13th.

Betty and I had many happy visits with Roy – whom we had known for over 40 years – at Bethany Lodge, a home for seniors in Unionville, where Roy and Marian resided for a number of years.

  • Previously, Roy and Marian had lived in Hamilton, in Galt, and for many years in Toronto, Ontario.

    • During World War II, Roy had served in the Canadian army in Britain as a non-combatant conscientious objector.

  • He was the oldest son of Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Devenish, of London, Ontario. JWD served the Lord in ministry for many years.

The burial is on Monday, October 18th.


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August 21, 1916 – October 19, 2003

"Jesus Wept", John 11: 35

The One who wept at Bethany,
With Oh such tender love,
Though not on earth now feels for thee
In priestly care above.

And yet so near! In troubles, cares,
And grief we're ne'er alone;
All understandingly He shares
Our sorrows as His own!

He bears His people's griefs today
With feelings just as deep
As once, when cares athwart His way
Had moved Him e'en to weep.

What limitless resources are
At hand for thee above! –
The great unmeasured reservoir
Of Jesus' heart of love!

We recommend the sympathy
In which thou canst confide;
The One who wept at Bethany
Is standing by thy side.

R.G.F. – Bristol, June 15, 1938.

Robert G. Fear, the composer of the above – and hymn 109 in the 1973 hymn book – was born in Bristol, England, on August 21, 1916.

  • He received his higher education in Paris, France, and became himself a professional educator.

  • He married "in the Lord" a sister, Jessie Caldwell of Kilmarnock, Scotland, on August 18, 1951.

    • Jessie went to be with Christ on Thursday, July 21, 2005, after months of physical suffering.

  • They initially lived in Bristol, later for a few years in Leeds and finally, from 1958, in Prestwick, Scotland.

  • Prior to his retirement he was Headmaster of a school in Ayr not far from their home.

  • They had one daughter named Margaret.

Robert was in the Royal Army Medical Corps [he was a conscientious objector] during World War II and took part in the D-Day landings of June 16, 1944.

Our brother was well-versed in the Scriptures and in his understanding of the truth.

  • He was used over the years in the ministry of the Word among brethren, in the course of which he travelled to various parts of the world.

  • He was fluent in French and, I believe, to a lesser degree in German.

Robert was one who felt deeply the years of departure among brethren who had been greatly favoured by the precious unfolding of the truth from the days of John Nelson Darby and others,

    • and yet maintained rightly both the necessity and privilege of carrying 'all the saints' in his mind, heart and prayers.

  • He felt, as doubtless others of us, the real need of getting our bearings in relation to the blessed Man in the glory.

  • I was privileged to enjoy mutually with our brother regular contact by telephone and letter in which we sought genuinely to encourage each other as also our dear wives.

The Lord exercised His right to take our beloved brother home to be with Himself on Lord's Day, October 19, 2003 [in his 87th year], after a long period of declining health.

Andrew Roberton, Centerville, MA, U.S.A.
October 21, 2003.

May our dear sister Jessie, and their daughter Margaret, experience the comfort that only our Lord Jesus can give.

G.A R.

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1918 – October 16, 2002

Robert H. (“Bob”) Smith was born in 1918 in Westfield, New Jersey.

When Bob was born, his family was attending the Presbyterian Church. His father left that church because the minister did not believe in the resurrection of Christ.

  • After a period of time Mr. Walter Mooney, a brother in the meeting at Westfield, invited Bob’s father to the meeting.

  • He accepted the invitation, and began to break bread soon after. Bob’s sisters also attended the meeting for a time but never broke bread.

Bob’s mother became ill when he was a teenager, and she died when he was 16.

  • About a year later, Bob accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior, and he began to break bread when he was 18.

  • After graduation from high school, Bob began to work in the financial industry in New York.

  • He was drafted into the Army in 1941, but mercifully, was never sent overseas and never saw any combat.

  • Bob was initially sent to Virginia, but he spent most of his time in the Army in Great Falls, Montana.

    • While there, he began to attend the meeting in Kalispell, and the brethren there were extremely kind to him.

  • Bob’s link with Kalispell and his love for the brethren there remained strong throughout his entire life.

Bob was discharged from the Army in 1945, and the following year, he married Elizabeth Clews from Detroit,

    • whom he had first met at meetings in London, Ontario some years earlier.

  • They settled in Cranford – the neighboring town to Westfield – and had two children, Jim, and Mary Elizabeth.

  • Bob returned to work in New York and continued to work in the financial industry for over 15 years.

Bob was very devoted to the Lord and His people. He was a bright testimony to all he came in contact with, both in the Army and during his years of employment.

  • He also was respected among those he walked with in Christian fellowship, serving frequently in the Gospel and occasionally in other meetings.

  • He became increasingly concerned with the trends among the company during the late 1950s, and when unscriptural teachings began in the early 1960s,

    • he, his family, and his father withdrew with much sorrow and after very much soul searching.

  • Bob and Elizabeth soon began to break bread in their house – in fellowship with brethren of like convictions in the U.S.A. and abroad –

    • and continued to do so for the rest of Bob’s life.

Bob was stricken with leukemia in the summer of 2001. He remained fairly well for about another year, and then his health began to deteriorate seriously.

  • He was taken to be with the Lord as he slept during the night of October 15, 2002 [early on the 16th]

    • and was buried in Fairview Cemetery in Westfield, NJ, on October 18.

Bob contributed two hymns to 'Hymns and Spiritual Songs for the Flock of God' published in Auckland, New Zealand. See 'Bulletins' for August 2001.

  • One of his hymns is reproduced below.

Holy Spirit Thou are worthy,
Of the praise of every heart,
Now made consciously among us
And from us, will ne'er depart.

We regard Thy precious service,
As the Comforter now giv'n,
Sent by Christ to love and keep us,
While on earth in view of Heav'n.

Tender, lowly influence ever,
Whence we learn Thy secret love,
Seen on Christ in sweet communion,
Holy – peaceful, as a dove.

Waterbrooks and springs and fountains,
In abundance speak Thy worth,
Early – latter rains refreshing,
Life produced in place of dearth.

By Thy power sustained to worship,
And Thy joy to set us free,
Singing hearts and voices blending.
Rise up Well! Sing unto Thee!

Blessèd Holy Spirit promised,
We are sealed and do abide,
In the joy of fullest blessing,
Till Christ claims His cherished bride.

Following a conversation with Elizabeth (Mrs.) Smith, the above account [with a few additions] was submitted by
D. Tom Hawkins.

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October 31, 1905 – July 3, 2002

On July 3, after a brief illness and at 96 years of age, our dear sister Kathleen Stott – an "elect lady" known and loved by many – went to be with Christ.

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– May 30, 2001

The Lord took our beloved brother John Hunziker, of San Francisco, to Himself on Wednesday, May 30, 2001, in the early morning.

  • In recent months John had several serious operations for cancer but its spread could not be halted. The last days he was in great pain which the doctors could not relieve.

We sorrow with our beloved sister Liz (Diener of Chicago), her son Robert and all the family, but rejoice that John is out of his suffering and with our blessed Lord Jesus.

John was marked by boldness in confessing Christ right from the start.

  • As a young man he would regularly stand in front of the office building in which he worked and preach on the street.

  • He filled a vital role within his local meeting and will be missed greatly.

  • 'My Brethren' has been enriched by correspondence with John, and by his contributions of rare and out-of-print items and reference material. His encouragement in the work of MB will always be remembered.

The burial service took place on Monday, June 4, 2001, and there were over 150 in attendance.

  • Words were given by Arthur Widtfeldt Jr. and Ben Taylor. The body was committed to the Lord at the graveside by Arthur Widtfeldt Sr.

John's aged (93) mother – Alice (Hjort), sister of Mrs. Grace Hesterman of New Jersey – was taken by the Lord just a few days before John. She was buried on Thursday, May 31, 2001.

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December 17, 1916 – March 22, 2000

The Lord Jesus took our beloved sister Marian Devenish to Himself on Wednesday, March 22nd.

In November, Marian had undergone radiation therapy for cancer of the tongue and lymph glands.

  • Despite the pain, she remained bright in spirit through it all and we had many happy visits with her and Roy.

  • Marian continued to weaken physically and latterly was confined to bed.

Roy and Marian had lived in Hamilton, in Galt, and for many years in Toronto, Ontario.

  • In recent years they have lived in Bethany Lodge – a home for seniors – in Unionville, just outside Toronto.

  • Marian was a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles A. Markham, of Cranford, New Jersey.

The burial took place on Friday, March 24th.

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CHARLES  DUNN  –  January 22, 2000

Our dear brother Charles Dunn, of Reigate, England, went to be with Christ on Saturday, January 22nd.

  • He had been on a business trip about 10 days earlier in Spain with his wife, Freda, and returned well,

    • but developed Legionnaire's Disease – bronchopneumonia – and died within three days.

Charles was the son of the late Mr. Robert Dunn of Reigate, and brother of Mary (Mrs. Ken) Wyllie of Kingston, Ontario.

  • We sorrow with his wife and family, and with Ken and Mary Wyllie, old and valued friends.

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January 10, 1938 – November 26, 1999

Jim Soukoreff

The Lord took our beloved brother Jim Soukoreff, of Vancouver, to Himself on Friday, November 26, at 9:00 a.m.

  • See Daniel Soukoreff's account below.

We sorrow with our beloved sister Susan, her son Daniel and all the family.

Jim and Susan's three sons shared together in the burial service on Tuesday, November 30.

Tue, 1 Feb 2000

Dear Gordon and Betty,
Thank you for your thoughtful email, very sorry for the delay. Greetings from us all and my mother. She has up days and down days, but in the main feels supported of the Lord.

I was just coming over to my parents house to work on Nov. 26, 1999 – I had bought out my father's business in October 1998. He ran the engraving business from the basement.

  • When I went downstairs I saw my mother, leaning over my father, who was flat on the ground. Mother looked up and said "Danny, Dad's dead!"

  • My mind keeps coming back to that scene, the shock of it, the terrible feeling of helplessness, deep sorrow but the total unreality of the situation.

  • Mother had called 911, and was doing mouth to mouth but I could see that it all was over.

  • It was moving day, they were moving from Vancouver to Delta where my brother and I live. They were looking forward to all the things they would do together in retirement.

We expected that we had time, thus the suddenness and as far as our links in this world go the finality of his death, have been the hardest things to deal with.

  • Kerstin and the children came over immediately, Jacob cried in the car for a very long time. It was the first time someone really close to the children died and each child took it in a different way.

  • My brother came and organized the movers, as the move was to go on because the new owner wanted possession that day.

  • Lorraine and Carolyn flew in, Lorraine with her husband, Bruce Henry.

On Monday night all the Russian relatives came down plus some others including Doug Hugill and my cousin Julie and her husband Ron, some Hymns and the Lord's Prayer were said in Russian.

  • My cousin Julie read a letter of how my father had been a father to her after her father died at a young age. She finished by reading that powerful revelation which the Apostle John received in Revelation 21: 1-7. I was really affected by the majesty and the reality of "our blessed hope" as brought out in that section.

  • Monday night was also the first time my brothers and sisters actually saw my father dead. It was really hard for them to come in the room for the viewing, they had heard of father's death but now they would see it.

Burial Service

On Tuesday, we had the burial service in the burial grounds chapel at 12:00 noon. Greg and I greeted the ones coming in, it was amazing we expected 60 or so but there were probably 120 or more including Dick Price, father's friend since teenage years.

  • I asked for and was very conscious of the prayers of many that my brothers and I would be given words to comfort and challenge.

My brother gave out a hymn – #421 What will it be … – and prayed that God would be glorified.

  • Then he read: 1 Corinthians 15: 51-58 "this mortal must needs put on immortality" He plainly spoke of the fact of the "mortal" side of his life, his faults and shortcomings but through his faith in Christ, God was working out his own work (the real gold), of eternal value in father's soul.

  • Philippans 4: 7 "and the peace of God, which surpasses understanding shall guard your hearts and your thoughts by Christ Jesus" He spoke of how many scriptures we read perhaps hundreds of times but how through a trial you suddenly have the reality of a scripture in your heart, such was his present experience of this scripture and it is available to each one who puts their faith in Christ.

  • 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18 "the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we, the living whoremain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord" He spoke of how father had preceeded us into the Lord's presence.

My brother Greg spoke on the question, What is the measure of a man? and read 1 Samuel 16: 6-7 "for man looketh upon the outward appearance, but Jehovah looketh upon the heart" He spoke of man's measure and God's measure and of what is insignificant to men but precious in the sight of God.

  • The most important day in my father's life Greg explained was when he and his teenaged friend, Dick Price, went into a Gospel peaching, and convicted of their sins confessed Christ as Savior.

  • He spoke of how God saw all the time and energy he spent on others, his standing alone for what he believed was the truth.

  • Greg asked father, after dear Frank Holmes death, what he wanted to be remembered for when he died and father said "that I loved the truth" without hestitation.

  • Greg said he could not honestly remember one cruel word spoken by father, and of his unconditional love for friend and stranger.

I spoke on Hebrews 1 "Thou hast loved righteousness and hast hated lawlessness" My father had a very strong sense of right and wrong.

  • In the world around us each one to some degree has a sense of right and wrong. The Doukhobors – the Russian community my father was born into – have a strong sense of right and wrong, they refuse to take up arms, this is in the scriptures, thou shalt not kill and they have suffered to maintain it.

  • But looking to man there is a confusing number of standards of right and wrong, God's standard is Christ. God … has spoken to us in the person of the Son. God is setting forth, Christ, the effulgence of his glory and the expression of his substance. He will not accept less.

  • We have fallen far short of God's standard, our righteousnesses are like filthy rags. Ours is to repent and receive God's righteousness in the person of Christ. But what about my sins?, the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin.

  • This scripture speaks of Christ's sense of right and wrong, how far greater than ours! This feature of Christ was found in my father. But some one might say such a one wouldn't be compassionate, but how compassionate was Jesus, how compassionate God is "for God so loved".

We sang a the hymn – #31 A while, yes a very short while – and Greg closed with a very heartfelt prayer asking God's comfort for mother.

  • I committed the body at the graveside and we sang #238, When peace like a river … John and Marion Bellamy and Mike and Adrienne Gardiner were at the graveside.

  • Refreshments were served at a room provided and we were able to have conversations and learn of the appreciation of others for father as well as follow up with some who wanted to speak of eternal matters.

  • May there have been seeds sown for God's glory.

Love to you, Daniel.

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