I am sitting here in our living room in Tennessee reminiscing.
Place: RCA Studio in Nashville, Tennessee
Who: Newlyweds of a few months.
What: My brother in law, Lowell Lundstrom, had just written a new song that we were recording entitled, “Cherished Moments.”
Here’s Verse 1:
Time rushes by and life fades away
It disappears and soon we are old and gray
Oh what I would give to live life one more time
I cherish every moment that was mine.
We were only 22 and 23 years old at that time. We thought we would live forever, our parents would somehow live forever and we just couldn’t visualize getting old. We got fooled—because reality hits. I can hardly believe Larry and I have been together in ministry for 58 years.
I so vividly remember coming off our first six week tour after our 1965 wedding totally and completely exhausted thinking, “How will we (or I) ever make it on this crazy schedule? How long can we keep this up?” We all felt the fatigue. In a conversation heading back to Sisseton, Lowell commented, “We have been out here almost seven years on the road. We can’t keep this pace up. We are going to travel about three-four months a year and be off road with other projects the rest of the year.” That was music to my ears.
Soon after that, doors began to open in every direction for great and expanded ministry opportunities: radio, TV, united crusades, camps, guest appearances, seminars, Holy Land tours, and more recordings of albums and national TV specials. We soon found ourselves on the road eleven months out of the year. We knew we were all called to evangelism and we were excited to win the lost at any cost. Multiplied thousands responded to the altar calls, and we were honored to be a part of seeing them come to Christ.
Fast forward to 1981, Larry and I became the associate evangelists and hit the road with our immediate family reaching and encouraging other families for Christ through seminars, crusades, camps, etc. Thousands made commitments for Christ. The journey has been thrilling, fun, challenging, and certainly life-altering. We have experienced moments and seasons of strength, weakness, laughter, cheers and tears as we have encountered 58 years of many times, uncharted waters. We have won. We have lost. We have ridden the tumultuous waves of change in America, the culture, the world, morality, church fads and structures, but God has remained faithful as we have endeavored to remain faithful to Him. We have 58 years of ministry that we have shared together with you—family, partners and our extended family.
Now with a grateful heart and tears flowing, we have come to a heart wrenching and difficult decision to close the door of our cherished ministry due to health reasons and the need to care for each other and to be with and for our family in the Nashville area.
We’ve had weeks of sleepless nights and tears because we love each one of you so much. You have prayed for us, held us up, supported us and encouraged us. You are “our dear cherished friends.” We have joyfully spent years praying mornings over you. We have gotten to know your families, watched them grow and have traversed valleys with you and rejoiced in your joys and mountaintops. Thank you for being so trusting. Thank you for this most cherished ride. Many of your children and grandchildren came to Christ under our ministry. What an honor and thrill!
The last line of the song “Cherished Moments” says this:
If I could live my life one more time
I would cherish every moment that was mine.
Larry and I deeply feel that! In the month of May, we will issue our last monthly newsletter which will close this ministry journey celebrating my 80th birthday and beginning a new phase of our journey with mixed feelings. We thought it was hard to begin our ministry in 1965 together, but that was nothing compared to trying to land this plane. Our emotions are riveting. Please pray for us as we love you so much!
Gloria and Larry