may 20th – Davidene’s notes

Hi Friends:

Last week was a very hard blessing. God used its events to prove to me again that He is still here with me, in control, still not surprised by anything, still caring about every detail of my life, physically and emotionally, and still has a plan – for both the ongoing of Kent’s influence and of my life and purpose. Since I had been despairing and sad about both, it was a type of miracle for my heart.

It was the week that had been set aside to have a gigantic give-away of Kent’s books and other resources to those in our area who could use them personally and in their ministries. We called it an “Open House” because that sounded happier to me than to say “give away”. I could hardly stand the thought of losing the physical evidence of the years of Kent’s effort to show God’s love to people. His heritage and legacy – that’s what he called the written words. And they were now to just be given away? As if that heritage and legacy were so quickly ended? I cried every day as I prepared the stacks of personal books, CDs, cards, and cases of published books; knowing that our small warehouse would be empty of the things I loved before the week was over. I know that sounds unrealistically melodramatic, but it is how I felt.

As I dressed on Monday for the first day of the four-day event, I had senses of both dread and expectation. I had prayed hard that God would use this for His glory, and was waiting to see how He would do that. I drove to the office – a little nervous. Monday was going to be the longest day, from 10:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. God did not wait a minute to start to reveal His pleasure and purpose for giving Kent’s books away. Very early on, people began to arrive, and it stayed busy all day. I saw friends, ministers of all kinds, and strangers in a mixed array. I heard many stories that I had not heard before, and time became a parade of joyous moments sharing God and Kent with new and old friends.

The very first people to arrive were the pastors from my home church. They already had Kent’s books, and had heard everything Kent had to say, but there they were, as encouraging and excited to receive books as if they had never seen one. It made my heart happy right away.

As God would have it, the Baptists were holding a pastors’ conference on Monday, and several pastors of rural churches throughout the state came by, incredulous that someone would GIVE such treasure to them. They looked like deer in the headlights, eyes wide open, and hearts so thankful. Two of them who lived somewhat close to Oklahoma City, drove home after the meetings and picked up their wives and children. They had not met each other before Monday morning, but they came back, laughing with each other, getting more books, and motivated for a bright future as friends in ministry.

There was the radio personality who had interviewed Kent several times in the past, who came, saw what kind of material was available, and phoned people to come. She then waited until they arrived so that she could show them around!

A single dad came with his son. While he was in the warehouse, a lady arrived who heads up a single parent ministry. Neither one knew the other, but they exchanged information, excited to be able to meet and help each other. The father had brought his son because his son loves to read, and he was hoping to find books for him. As his dad talked to the single parent ministry lady, I took him into our conference room for cookies and a drink. I said, “You have such a nice father.” He replied, “You have NO idea!” “Why do you say that?” I replied. “Well, he is AMAZING how much he loves me,” said the child. His name was Christopher, and he was in second grade.

A sweet elderly widow drove herself to the warehouse at about 4:30 p.m. After she claimed some books and cards for herself, I helped her out to her car. After saying, “Drive carefully in this five o’clock traffic,” she said, “Oh, I will. I wouldn’t have missed this for anything!” Kent would have put his arms around her and prayed for her right there if he had been there in person. He loved “his” widows so much.

At 7:00 p.m., closing time, the warehouse and conference room were still full of people shopping and just enjoying each other’s company. I marveled at their easy camaraderie, considering that they had met each other just earlier that day. But Christians are like that. Children were running laps around the offices, playing hide and seek, and swiping a cookie every time they passed. I teased the parents by saying, “You had better get some protein for the kids, or just stay and I’ll order pizza.” It was a party.

Tuesday through Thursday were more of the same, but it soon became evident that word was traveling so fast throughout the churches and ministries of Oklahoma City that supply could not keep up with demand. By the end of the day on Thursday, over ten thousand books had gone to new homes. These will be passed out over the country and several foreign nations. It was so encouraging to see God take His work through Kent to the far reaches of His own plan. It also made me see again that His plan doesn’t stop there. He has a plan for me, too. I just have to wait, as hard as that might be. He will show me eventually what He wants me to do. In the meantime, it’s still one-day-at-a-time.

I now plan to finish the books that were in process, and present whole series of books to some major publishing houses to see what God might want to do with them. It is in His hands from there.

Kent would have loved it. All of his favorite people, pastors, businessmen, and widows were there, filling the first day with laughter, wonder, and new memories. I came home feeling God’s blessing on the event, on Kent’s ministry, and on myself. It was exhausting and exhilarating.

Love, Davidene

 

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About kenthumphreys
Kent Humphreys has been a business leader for over forty years. He also served as CEO of FCCI/Christ@Work for six years and now serves as their worldwide ambassador, speaking, writing, and mentoring young leaders. He continues to be active in distribution, private equities, and real estate. Kent and his wife Davidene have written six books together. They have three children and eight grand-children.

4 Responses to may 20th – Davidene’s notes

  1. Eric & Janet Snyder says:

    Thanks for sharing your joy and your heartache with us Davidene. It sounds like EXACTLY the kind of activity Kent would have enjoyed; being right in the midst of the fun & chaos! He had such a generous heart and this would have been very pleasing to him.

    Thank you also for a reminder to keep praying for you and your family!

  2. Max DeWeese says:

    Thanks again, Davidene, for sharing your heart. I could imagine in my mind and heart Kent moving about the room, laughing and enjoying the people…while delighting that the Message he loved and lived for; that of redemption, hope and eternal fellowship with God in Christ, was being placed in the hands of those who would carry on his spiritual legacy of proclaiming the gospel, preaching the Word and making disciples.

  3. Debbie Hanni says:

    Thanks for sharing how God continues to use Kent. Kevin & I were out of town and could not come by and it brought a smile to my heart to hear what a blessing the Open House was to you and to others. It is exciting to hear how those books will continue to share God’s love throughout the world. Continuing to pray for you and your family!

  4. Carolyn Churchill says:

    What a blessing. I think so often of what we have because of Oswald Chambers’s widow and all of the editing work she did to give us M y Utmost for His Highest. Your labor is not in vain!! By His Grace, Carolyn

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