The following is a short letter my dad wrote right after he was diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a motor neurone disease, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). This letter was published in the SCM News (Southeastern Correctional Ministry) in June of 2014, a ministry where he served as Senior Chaplain until his disease took away his ability to speak. He passed away in February of this year and we miss him terribly but treasure the words he left behind as an encouragement for all of us.
Joyce Everett, current Senior Chaplain of SCM wrote:
“In life we meet so many good people that love the Lord Jesus and serve him with all their heart. The former Senior Chaplain of SCM, Chaplain Gary Tingwald, is one of those people. He is such a blessing. Once you meet him your life is never the same.
I have been senior Chaplain a little over a year and I have received so many calls asking about Chaplain Gary, I felt led by God to ask him to address the SCM family in this months news letter edition and this is what he wanted to say to all of you:”
A NOTE FROM CHAPLAIN GARY:
I wanted to give all of you an update on what has been happening. Some one asked me, “how are you doing”? This is my answer: “I’m doing fine but my body has a problem.”
I am no longer able to talk or eat. All of my nourishment comes by way of a stomach tube and I have devices that help me communicate.
It is not as bad as you might think because God’s presence is always with us. We are traveling to visit family in many different states and God uses Vickie and I to minister to them. God has blessed me with a wonderful wife and supportive family.
I really miss the jail ministry and seeing all of you. Our prayers are with you as you continue to bring the good news to the jails. God Bless.
“So we do not loose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light monetary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison…” 2 Corinthians 4:16-17a
It is not as bad as you might think because God’s presence is always with us.