Friday, August 2, 2013

Amazing day

We are still in awe, and will remain so for a while, because of the funeral yesterday, which went so well. For us it was wonderfully providential.
There were about 300 at the service (many also watched online apparently) and a pleasing number went with us to the grave and then afterwards for tea at the hall. If you were amongst them, thank you again for supporting us, especially those who traveled at significant cost from Ireland, France, Scotland and England.
The church folks (plus some notable extras!) did sterling service at every point, from the PA, organ, the stewarding, the food preparation and serving, caring for guests from afar, and cleaning up afterwards. There were so many stand-out moments. Many have said how big an input Padi had on the service itself and even though the Pastor led the whole thing Padi was involved in each part, notably the Rev Vernon Higham's prayer and the Pastor's message. The service has now been published to YouTube in case you would like to see it: A version of the order of service is available from this link (this is the one we supplied to the publisher):

_DSC1352When the short graveside service concluded we were all standing quietly for a few moments. Then someone pointed out Wendy's grave and it was almost as if a curtain was drawn back on heaven. When we were talking with Pads about his arrangement he became especially attached to the location of Pantmawr Cemetery for two reasons. Firstly because it was on the way to Auntie Ruth's and secondly because Wendy was buried there. No-one, humanly speaking, saw to it that Wendy and Pads mortal remains are now practically 'toe to toe'. It is a simple and transporting mental leap for us to imagine them rising up together at the Second Coming of Christ.
This link takes you to a copy of what we provided as a guide for the Pastor in the service.


ThatMiniDotCom said...

Nos da, Padi; See you in the morning. And WHAT a glorious morning it will be! Love you loads. Uncle Neil

I am waiting for the dawning
Of the bright and bless├Ęd day,
When the darksome night of sorrow
Shall have vanished far away—
When for ever with the Saviour,
Far beyond this vale of tears,
I shall swell the song of worship
Through the everlasting years.

I am looking at the brightness—
See, it shineth from afar—
Of the clear and joyous beaming
Of the "Bright and Morning Star."
Through the dark gray mist of morning
Do I see its glorious light;
Then away with every shadow
Of this sad and weary night.

I am waiting for the coming
Of the Lord who died for me;
Oh, His words have thrilled my spirit,
"I will come again for thee."
I can almost hear His footfall,
On the threshold of the door,
And my heart, my heart is longing,
To be with Him evermore.

S. Trevor Francis (1834-1925)

Susanna said...

What a glorious day it will be when the dawn of Heaven awakes. Blessed to have been with you all and praying that so much more blessing will yet come through padi's and your, faithful and sure testimonies. Ally's face when she saw Wendy's grave I will never forget x

Ruth said...

Likewise susanna

Christine said...

Our sincere love to the Johnson family.
We did not meet dear Padi here on earth, but having met you at the summer conference we read through your blog and in a small way got to know your dear son. We watched the funeral service on live stream and were greatly touched by the hymns chosen and the great gospel of our glorious God faithfully preached by Pastor Dewi and Vernon Higham.
With reference to Padi's desire to be a missionary, we have already been able, all glory to God, to speak with several people about Padi and his Christian faith and yesterday a person whom we have been praying for, was greatly touched by Padi's story and we now pray that his eyes will be opened to these precious truths for which Padi lived.
Thank you God for your missionary Padi
Love always James and Christine Hawkesworth in Somerset

Jonathan Hunt said...

I was one of the online viewers.

I do not think that I have ever been so profoundly impressed with a prayer, than with that of Mr Higham Sr. It does not seem to me to be too great an exaggeration to say that he led us all very close to heaven!

Unknown said...

I agree with James and Christine - Padi's life has been a testimony to God's faithfulness and has touched the lives of so many. Only heaven will reveal the extent of the lives he has touched, especially though Mike's blog going worldwide. I have spoken about Padi often, here in NZ, at the ladies meeting and all send their love to you , as a family, on your bereavement. Finally, what can I say as to the funeral service? It was victorious! We do pray that many unsaved would have been touched by it and come to know the Lord through it. I remember that padi commented that he would see Auntie Wendy again, before any of you, so how amazing was that that they lie there together awaiting the resurrection of the body? Will continue to uphold you in prayer that you may be kept during the weeks and months ahead. Much love, Meryl & Steve Ringer