Gil Woo was a man with a heart, a BIG heart. We met him and his wife Vivian on our first day visiting what was then known as Northridge Community Church in Milwaukie, Oregon. They gave us such a warm welcome! He was so interested in getting to know us, and we bonded right away. It was only at the end of the conversation that we learned it was their first Sunday there, too! And that's the kind of guy Gil was. He had a way of caring that just poured out of him without stopping. I never knew him to stop and nurse his own wounds. He was as others-centered as a person can be.
Gil and Vivian have supported us generously since we first became missionaries. Month after month, faithfully investing in God's work in and through us. But we never were a "project" to them, just the dearest of friends. Each time we've traveled back to Portland to see family, friends, and supporters to report on the work that God has been doing through SIM they have graciously opened their home to us and dozens of others who wanted to see us. Desserts, coffee, gifts for the kids, and the warmest of fellowship were always present in abundance.
Gil gave, and gave, and gave some more. We were not surprised to learn that even from his hospital bed, without the ability to speak, he wrote messages to ensure that his family and employees were cared for in his absence and knew that they were loved. No thought for himself. And today he was promoted to glory.
We will miss you, Gil. And the tears have flowed. But we know that you are up there cheering us on like you always have, finding new ways to give of yourself to those you love. I wonder, how is the View from the Ridge?
Saturday, November 21, 2009
a giant heart ... promoted to glory
Dr. Carmen Imes is the Associate Professor of Old Testament at Prairie College in Three Hills, Alberta, and serves the broader church through teaching, speaking, and writing. She earned a PhD in Biblical Theology (Old Testament) from Wheaton College under Dr. Daniel Block, an MA in Biblical Studies from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (Charlotte), and a BA in Bible and Theology from Multnomah University. She and her husband, Danny, served as missionaries with SIM 15 years. They have three children: Ana, Emma, and Easton.