Sunday, 27 April 2014

Carlin's Final Graduation

Good Evening Marcia:
Easter was more meaningful this year, realizing afresh the hope we have in our resurrected Christ. We are thinking and praying for you daily, and plan to attend the funeral.
Blessings,
SHARON 
for the two of us Bob & Sharon

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness."  Lam. 3:22-23

When I think of Pastor Carlin, I think of the word ‘prayer’. Those times at social functions, banquets, etc. when he said, "let’s spend a little time around each table in prayer." The talking and laughing ceased. We prayed. 
We really appreciated his leadership on the Mission Committee at Willingdon Church. He wanted to start out by praying for each of the missionaries even though the agenda was long.
One Sunday morning, he asked the crowded church to get on their knees and I remember its impact even now.
Sometimes during a sermon Pastor Carlin’s voice would break, and he would say “Folks”….I would sit up and carefully listen because something so personal and heart rendering was forthcoming. Our family often quotes his advice: “Keep the small things small." Talking about fractious issues, he would query “Would I want to die on this mountain?”

One Sunday as Bob and I drove into the church parking lot, our discussion was focussed on a decision to be made that day. We were at an impasse regarding a financial investment with another brother. Pastor Carlin walked over to our car and asked if Bob could give him a lift to the Mayor’s house for a quick pastoral visit between services. The Mayor had died suddenly the night before and he wanted to console his wife, but he had to get back in time to preach (his car was parked in the BCIT parking lot a few blocks away).
During the drive over, Bob asked his advice regarding our dilemma, and he gave wise counsel. “If it’s money for an investment with the church family consider it as a gift, and not as lending. That way, if it doesn’t work out, you haven’t broken fellowship.” He then quoted a verse from Proverbs about making money slowly (which infers to stay away from fast money-making schemes). We took his advice and decided against the investment, which eventually ended very poorly and we were spared that setback.

Pastor Carlin dearly loved Marcia, and often mentioned her in a such a favourable way, smiling proudly down at her in the front seat (where she often sat through all the services.) He was a good example of a loving husband and father and when he shared little insights, we all benefitted. And thanks to Marcia for her example of a supportive wife!

He was consistently gracious through those years and Bob could say the same thing when they travelled together on mission trips. I remember him in Jamaica on a Willingdon Church Mission trip in 2002. He was sleeping on the concrete floor with the other men: it looked like a refugee camp and here was our Dr. Carlin with not a grumble.
On another trip to Russia, Carlin and Bob were sharing the same pullout couch/bed.  Bob said neither got a wink of sleep because it dipped in the middle and so he hung on to his side as did Carlin. (That along with jet lag...oh.. the joys of missions!)
Even in Mali, dressed on the hottest days, he managed to look cheerful when sitting on the even hotter platform in his black suit, with sweat pouring down onto his white shirt, or later at lunch gingerly putting his hand in the community pot of mush along with everyone else (while gravy dripped onto his now-ruined jacket.) All this done with decorum and grace, while Marcia enthusiastically encouraged him and all of us! These are golden memories and we are so thankful that God lent us such a marvellous Pastor!  
Sharon Davies

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