It was 1988, and Cindy and I had just moved to Berwick, PA, to assume the position of senior pastor of a small church. During our nine year residence in that northeastern Pennsylvania town, known more for its high school football team than anything else, we became good friends with Justin and Shera Argabright. He was pastoring a church in the neighboring city of Hazleton, just a twenty mile drive up over a mountain, down through the valley, and up over another mountain. As the good people of our church were unable to provide an income suitable to raise a family of four (at the time), Justin trained me to install custom window treatments to supplement my income. I worked a while for free in order to learn the trade.
This arrangement was fortuitous for more reasons than one. First off, Justin is a respected installer of window treatments and an excellent teacher. Thanks to Justin, I was able to support my family by installing draperies throughout northeastern PA and northern NJ after I resigned from pastoral ministry to go back to school. I worked full-time as an installer for my three years of undergraduate work at Wilkes University and the first 2 1/2 years of medical school at Pennsylvania State University in Hershey. I’m not sure what I would have done otherwise.
But, equally as valuable as the training and instruction in the finer points of drapery and blind installation were the conversations which took place as we traveled between jobs. Justin’s honest and reasonable approach to the religious and spiritual issues which we faced at the time influenced me greatly. Those times together have shaped my life and, in part, led me to where I am spiritually today (a much better place).
Cindy and I are thankful for their friendship – which brings us to this update. We were especially blessed to have them visit Beatitude for a couple of days. Their daughter, Megan, graduated and received her master’s degree in nursing this past weekend in Orlando. After twenty-plus years, we were reunited with old friends. Monday, which, at this point, was clearly the best day of the week, we went out sailing. What a great way to catch up on old times! The wind never reached the intensity which was forecast (10-15 knots), so our actually sailing time lasted for about 30 minutes. Most of the day saw wind with a maximum of 9 knots. The rest of the day was spent motoring or motor-sailing. We enjoyed the wind, the water, the sun, and the wildlife before returning to our slip. Our day’s adventure was uneventful and quite enjoyable.
If not before, we plan to reunite with Justin and Shera in Charleston, South Carolina (their hometown, now) in about a year as we make our way up the eastern United States aboard our sailing home.