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How Do You Say Good-Bye?

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How Do You Say Good-Bye?

Good-byes are not always easy to say. As a small boy, my grandson Huntley Ballestero struggled with saying good-bye to those he loved. Especially when my wife and I were leaving after visiting his home, he would hide when the good-byes were being said and the hugs got passed around. He didn’t like saying good-bye.

I tearfully remember my Alzheimer’s afflicted Daddy standing on the porch of his house in Fontana, California. Even with Mom’s prompting, he struggled to wave good-bye to me as I sat in my rental car ready to head back to the airport.

In a weak sounding voice he haltingly said, “I’ll see… you… in the… rapture.” With tears drenching my face, I vowed to him that I would see him in the rapture!

No final good-bye is easy! Words don’t seem to be able to say it all.

Sometimes, death comes to our loved ones so quick there is not time to say good-bye.

Other times, the good-byes become stretched out for several days or even a couple of weeks.

And then there are the good-byes that unfold in slow motion. They go on unendingly. We stand by and watch as their body slowly succumbs to the ravages of disease. We are helpless to fix it for them and we grieve that we can’t make them better.

Our hearts ache when we see the one we love, admire, trust and enjoy, fight so hard to live. It’s as if their body can’t keep pace with their will.

Such Has Been The Good-Bye To Our Beloved Michigan District Superintendent, Bro. Joseph Carpenter.

The first time I heard the name, Joseph Carpenter, was in 1964. My wife-to-be informed me she was going to be a Bridesmaid in her cousin Victoria Jordan and Joe Carpenter’s wedding.

When my wife and I married in 1965, some 5 months after their wedding, she asked Victoria Jordan Carpenter to be in our wedding.

The first revival my wife and I preached after getting married was for Bro. Victor Jordan in Jackson, Michigan. Bro. Joseph Carpenter assisted his father-in-law, Bro. Jordan and was a tremendous blessing to him and the church there.

Bro. Carpenter loved the work of God, he loved everything about church and he loved the Michigan Camp. All of us from Michigan have seen him work around the camp. He wasn’t afraid to roll up his sleeves and get dirty. He led by doing.

Today my wife and I shed tears remembering our ‘cousin’, our friend, a great pastor, a tremendous preacher, and our beloved District Superintendent… Joseph D. Carpenter.

For the last many months we have all viewed his will to live and his struggle with disease in person and on Facebook.

He has been exceedingly brave. His wife and children have also been heroic in their support and comfort giving. The rest of us have tearfully watched and waited, praying, reading updates, and hoping against hope. And then as we held our collective breaths, we watched the man we love leave us. We were forced to say good-bye!

Reading the sentiments of family and friends as their aching hearts have spilled out onto the printed page has comforted us.

 

Facebook Posts From His Immediate Family

Sister Victoria Carpenter (Wife) “Even though my heart is hurting I am flooded with precious memories of my life with this awesome man. I am so blessed, so very blessed. I love him more than words can express.

“With family and close friends tonight as we sit with my husband. Feeling the sweet peace of God in the room.

“Sitting here in the hospital with Joe and Angela. My husband is telling us stories of when his Mom and Grandmother came into the Christian Temple church in Jackson. His grandmother was healed of a Tumor and that was the beginning of their walk with God. So interesting!!

“All the family was together tonight. Love my family so much. Good talks and lots of laughter. My husband had a much better day, still very weak.

“Can’t keep a good man down. Sorting through mail.

“Left my sweet husband resting tonight. Pray that he has a good night.

“Bro. and Sis. Mooney came to visit my husband today. Joe came and then Jay, Angela and Kelsea came this evening. My husband was feeling much better when I left tonight, after having a rough day.

“With my sweetheart. He is resting pretty good right now. Had a rough night, lots of pain, but I think they are getting it under control. Covet your prayers. Love you, my precious family and friends.

“So comforting to have my children with me as we travel down this road with my sweetheart and their father. The love they have shown and expressed toward their Dad is amazing. Such love. I am blessed beyond measure. The outpouring of love and prayer from family, friends, and our church is so much appreciated.”

Joe Carpenter - Dad's hand will forever guide mine. I love you Dad.

Pastor Joe Carpenter (Son) “Dad is resting…. Here with mom, Victoria Jordan Carpenter and my wonderful wife, Sherrie Young Carpenter. I wouldn’t trade these last few days for any thing in the world.

“Reminiscing funny stories about Dad that only the family know… just in case you were wondering he has a not so serious side we get to see… precious memories. With Victoria Jordan Carpenter, Joshua Carpenter, Sherrie Young Carpenter.

“Everyone is sleeping but me, just watching my Dad…  I am overwhelmed with emotions… beyond explanation… JESUS!

“Dad is still with us but leaning more toward his heavenly home.

“Just had a wonderful prayer meeting in Dads room, Jay Jones was reading the Psalms… God is amazing…

“Well, Dads ticket home was not for yesterday. He has spent a lifetime planning for this trip; only God knows the date so we wait patiently on Him.

“Dad is still fighting the fight…..spending time with mom, Angela and Jay, Nate and Lisa Nix, and Bro and Sis Henson. What sweet friends to stay up with us and Dad all night.

“Life will never be the same… Dad has gone to his reward.

“My Dad is not gone. He has simply traded that which can never last for that which can never be taken away. Thank you for this awesome line Martha Jaynes.”

Victoria Jordan Carpenter - Can't keep a good man down. Sorting through mail.

“Bishop Carpenter began his ministry in the early 60’s, teaching Sunday School and leading the Youth Ministry of Christian Temple Church in Jackson, Michigan. He was elected as Section 3 Youth Director in 1967, the same year he received his ministerial credentials. After many years of serving as the Assistant Pastor in Jackson he was called to Mount Morris to pastor.

Reverend Carpenter was the Senior Pastor of First Apostolic Church of Mount Morris from November of 1981 until May of 2011. In April of 2011 he was elected as Bishop of FAC. As pastor of First Apostolic he started daughter works in Imlay City and Kentwood, Michigan. He has served the district in numerous capacities over the past 43 years that he has held credentials with the United Pentecostal Church, International. Pastor Carpenter has ministered in several countries, including The Philippines, Ethiopia, Estonia, Italy, and has encouraged and supported congregations and missionaries around the world.

From 1973 until 1981 he served as District Youth President

From 1984 until 1985 he served as District Sunday School Director

From 1985 until 1990 he served as District Home Missions Director

From 1990 until 2000 he served as District Secretary-Treasurer

In May of 2000 he was elected as the District Superintendent.

Reverend Carpenter was a member of the General Board of the UPCI and also a board member of the United Pentecostal Foundation.

Joseph D. Carpenter

May 13, 1946-October 3, 2011”

Victoria Jordan Carpenter - Angela and her Dad.

Angela Jones (Daughter) ”I never had to look far for a beautiful example of marriage… my parents (Victoria Jordan Carpenter and Joseph D Carpenter) lived it out before me!

“Spending precious moments with my daddy, Joseph D Carpenter! Love him so very much! I’m so blessed!

“Mom, I love you!!!

“Dad, I love you so much!!!!!”

Sherrie Young Carpenter  (Daughter In Law) “You have been the best wife dad could have ever asked for…. Love you!

“Dad…. I love you so very much and am thankful that you have been my Father-in-law. Could never have asked for anyone better. I truly love you!!!!”

“It is well… my sweet father-in-law went to meet our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We praise him for this….”

Jay Jones (Son In Law)

“Love you, Dad!”

 

Facebook Posts From Extended Family

Jenny Jordan Teets “Joe, I have looked on FB every hour on the hour all day, looking for a tidbit of news. I know it must be so hard keeping vigil over your dad for hours. But there is a lot of people praying for you, so try to remember all the wonderful times he provided for you, Angela, and your mother… and your mates, and his grandchildren. He has made the world a much better place for so many people!”

“Vicky, my beautiful sister, it must be one of the saddest days of our lives when we lose a loved one. I love you and want to be a comfort to you! We are so proud of his example and the way all of you have carried out your love for Joe these last weeks. I’ll see you soon….”

Sandy Jordan  “I woke up early this morning thinking and praying for you all! We love you.“

Victoria Jordan Carpenter - Bro. & Sis. Mooney came back up today to see my husband. Love these people.

Rebecca Starr Trammell  “God put you two together and you are and awesome team and raised a beautiful family that is example to many. Vicky you have shown such love and strength and graceful spirit. We love you.”

Marisa Ballestero- Hartzell “Thinking of you all today, I was awakened several times in the night with you all in my heart and prayers. Love you so very much!!”

“Heaven has received a treasure! Brandon and I loved your dad so very much , he had a big impact on our ministry. We will be praying you all for the days ahead.♥♥

Marcia Starr Ballestero  “Dear Family We are Praying for you all!! Wish I could be right beside you to just do what ever I could to lighten your load. Love and Prayers.”

“You have always shown such Love and Respect!! God gives Peace and carry’s us. Your Love and Devotion is such a strength to your family. Love You and Praying. I Remember when we all got married the same year five months apart I was in your Wedding You were in Mine. There have been many Loving and Happy Years of Memories. Love You!!

“Love and prayers for our family of Cousins Vicky, Jodi, Sherry, Angela, Jay and their children for the Loss of Bro. Joe Carpenter we will Miss him so much. He has been so Important to all of us in the family and Michigan District. God will carry you in this hard time. Love you, Marcia Ballestero”

Mia Clark-Chapdelaine “Love you SO much!”

“We are mourning, but I can’t help but picture him heading down streets of gold to check in to his new room.”

Suzanne Priddy  “Our family prayed for you all this morning on our way to work. The tapestry of our family is woven with threads of memories… Each shade of color is forever placed with loved ones smiles, trials and victories. So when our minds take us to the gallery of memories we will see the value of each of those that were sewn into the fabric of our lives~

“We love you all and are continuing to pray for strength and peace as the final threads of your Dad’s part in the tapestry are woven in~”

Victoria Jordan Carpenter - My brother, Mark came up to the hospital to visit with Joe.

Sara Starr Copple  “We Love you…Tom & I and our church has been keeping the prayers ongoing for your family!

“We love you very much… my words fail me…such a loss for us all… you all are such a close~ beautiful family who has brightened the world around you!!! Love my cousins dearly!

“Sending our love…no words are adequate…you are dear family…”

Julie Perry Hopper  “Praying strength for you, Victoria Jordan Carpenter, and Angela Jones and your families. Please let your dad and everyone there know that we are praying. Love to all of you.”

Karen S Perry  “Dear sweet and beautiful Vicky my heart is aching for you and your family.”

“Sharing in your time of sorrow I’ve cried and cried some more because of your father’s passing plus the memories it brought to mind of the loss of my own father to cancer when he was only 54, 40 yrs ago and the vigil that mother, my family Uncle Victor and Aunt Theodora kept at his bed side. Your dad will live on in the lives of your family for as long as you live.”

Priscilla Starr Spears  “You have been an example of integrity, faithfulness and Christian character to me for the past 20 years Today, like a true mentor, you show us how to walk in faith in paths unknown, but awaiting us all. Our prayers are with you; we love you and salute you as a dear friend and compatriot. May God grant our prayers as we pray for you, and may you feel our love and support across the miles, but nearby in spirit, faith and hope. Curtis and Priscilla”

Alexa Olson  “Vicky I want to say how much I admire the strength you have shown. I know only God has done that for you, but you are still amazing. Love you and your family and praying for you. So glad you and the kids have had this time.”

Victoria Jordan Carpenter - Jim Fielder and Rodney Clark came to see Joe. Wonderful friends.

Cindy Clark  “We are praying for strength and peace for all of you. Sending our love to you today!”

Mark Hopper “My Special Prayer this morning is: God Bring comfort to my Superintendent Joseph D Carpenter and His family. He has been such an incredible leader in the Michigan District. He has set the bar very high in faithfulness and kindness that only I can strive to reach. He has always displayed the Character of a True Christian. I thank God For Him. Bring peace and assurance today to Vicki, Joe, Sherrie, Angela, and Jay, knowing that God is always in control. We love you Bishop.

“Please pray for the family of our dear Superintendent Joseph Carpenter. What a great man of integrity. YOU WILL BE MISSED!”

Christy Huntley Ballestero  “Sharing in your loss.. You are right, it won’t be the same. Love and prayers…”

Marian June Davis  “Vicky our love and prayers are with you at this sad passing of Joe.He was a great man and seem strong right to the end.Your kids are in our prayers.”

Facebook Posts From Friends

Jerry Ann Guidroz  “We love you both!!”

Corliss Thompson Williams  “Love & prayers coming your way!!!”

“Vicky, we are praying for all of you! So thankful for the wonderful memories that you two shared! May they give you comfort.”

Brenda Hudson  “We just finished Morning Prayer here at our church and want you to know that we have prayed for you and your family. Prayed for you throughout the whole day yesterday. We are keeping the prayer vigil going.”

Suzie Toadvine, Wanda Fielder, and Cindy Clark was here today. love my friends. - Victoria Carpenter

Wanda Fielder  “I woke up several times in the night praying for your family. May God surround with His presence! We are with you in thought and prayer. So glad we got to be with you just two days ago and cherish the moment.

“Sent prayers your way this morning.

“We grieve for the loss of your father and our dear friend. We have the fondest of memories of our travels together and are extremely grateful for those precious times shared. Praying for you.”

Brenda Leaman   “My dear precious friend – this part of the journey is the most difficult but holds the greatest treasure – either of miraculous healing – or ultimate victory! You have both been so incredibly strong and such a shining example of the peace of God which passes all understanding. Your lives reflect an unwavering confidence in God and a deep love for the Michigan District. You have always been true servants. Our deepest love and continuous prayers are with you.”

Connie Bernard  “Bro Bernard and I love you all and are praying.”

Victoria Jordan Carpenter - Bob and Diane Stroup surprised us with a visit to the hospital tonight.

Suzi Henson Toadvine  “Woke up thinking about you! Praying for God to give you strength today! Hugs to you…”

Barbara Keller  “Love you and your family…you are in our thoughts and prayers!!”

Kimmela Harville Hall  “Praying for you all tonight…In the name of Jesus! We love you all…”

“All of our hearts are deeply saddened by this news, and yes, he did fight a good fight. He will be greatly missed. We are praying for you and your family for strength and comfort that only comes from above. We love you all. Please give our dear Sis. Carpenter a big hug from us..,♥”

Karla Baxter Sistrunk  “Prayer going up all over the state and the USA today for Bro. Carpenter, you and all of your family! God is faithful and with you every step of the way. We love you all.”

Laquita Reed Mullings  “So very sorry Bro Carpenter is in pain. I know you are too. Sending you both love & prayers from The Mullings.”

Mark Grisham  “let our hearts be your pillow.. may you feel the tenderness and love we are sending you now……..& the comfort of Our Fathers Love.”

Scott Sistrunk  “The MI District UPCI lost a great leader tonight. Bro. Carpenter lead this District to grow from 78 churches to 106 over his 11 year tenure. This ranks among the top growth achievements in recent UPCI history. In the 15 years prior MI had remained at 78 churches for 15 years. May God bless and comfort the Victoria Jordan Carpenter family.”

Judy Abbott Hudson “Vicky, my sweet friends. My thoughts and prayers are with you tonight.”

Betty Strawcutter  “The first thing I do in the morning and the last thing I do at night is read your posts Joe. Sometimes there are no words to communicate the deep feelings of the heart but we your friends feel the need to try, your dad has always represented himself, his family, his church and his God with integrity, kindness and love. What he has given in life is now echoing back from those who know him…we care, we pray, we surround him with our thoughts and love.

Holding you up in special prayer today my friend, God continue to strengthen you. Your family is loved by the Strawcutters.

“I’m feeling numb right now – my heart hurts for all of you.

“We have lost a wonderful friend and spiritual leader tonight, Bishop Carpenter has departed this life. My heart grieves for the family – there is nothing more painful than death…I am so thankful that heaven is a city without a cemetery.”

†††

How Do You Say Good-Bye?

It’s never easy. As we all can see by these comments, it’s not easy for us to see our loved ones go from us. Even though we know their suffering is over and they are in the presence of the Lord. Still, our hearts ache, our eyes fill with tears, and our arms will never be full again.

But, we have this one consolation… our “Good-bye” was not final!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 4, 2011 at 1:47 am

Posted in Comfort, Death

Tagged with ,

17 Responses

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  1. Precious. Beautifully written, Brother Ballestero.

    Seems like an inordinate amount of good-byes over the past several months.

    Blessings to you and your family.

    Shirley Buxton

    October 4, 2011 at 2:08 am

  2. Thank you, Bro Ballestero, for such a beautiful tribute to Rev Joseph D Carpenter and his family.

    Susan Jones

    October 4, 2011 at 7:27 am

    • Awesome compilation to a faithful man of God! Words cannot describe the value of such men! We all will be the poorer for our loss but heaven will be a little richer in his gain. God bless the Carpenter family, immediate and extended. I pray the peace of God upon all.
      Love, and prayers from the Stephens family

      David James Stephens

      October 4, 2011 at 10:30 am

  3. Thank you Bro Ballestero for posting all this. My heart is tearful as we say goodbye to this great man of God, but I’m glad I know who our maker is, that calms the storms and eases our heavy hearts! God be with all of you. In Jesus Name! We, the Ayala/Colegroves share in in your grief & joy and know one day we will see him again!
    With tender love, Bro & Sis. Aaron Ayala of Texas & Bro & Sis. John M. Colegrove of the Michigan District! God Bless!

    Erica Ayala Colegrove

    October 4, 2011 at 10:33 am

  4. Wow what a great sentiment to a great man of God Joseph D Carpenter may your soul rest in peace you will be miss by many

    Jose W Plesco

    October 4, 2011 at 10:33 am

  5. Choking up as I read this blog. I hate goodbyes. It seems like the hurt will go on forever, but eventually you can recall the cute, funny memories, the sweet, tender moments that will never be forgotten. Thankful for the time we have with each other… and cherish the moment.

    Nila Marxer

    October 4, 2011 at 11:49 am

  6. Thanks so much Marty for this writing. It has been a sad, drawn-out goodbye, but when you think about it deeply, one would have to admit that we all were able to say something. The internet has made our lives closer knit together than ever! We all can express our feelings, and it is precious!

    Jenny Jordan Teets

    October 4, 2011 at 12:13 pm

  7. God Bless the Carpenter family! It’s not “good-bye”, but “until we meet again”.

    Jason

    October 4, 2011 at 1:10 pm

  8. This was beautifully put! My husband and I had the utmost respect for this true man of God! It is not easy to say Good-bye, so we won’t… we’ll see you again Bishop Carpenter!

    Brenda Martin

    October 4, 2011 at 2:33 pm

  9. I wept as I read. Thank you Bro Ballestero for painting such a word picture.

    bobbyikerd

    October 4, 2011 at 2:51 pm

  10. Tears filled my eyes as I read this so very beautifully said article! I really, really dislike good-byes, but you are right! This one is not final! We will meet him over there! What a glorious day that will be!

    suzi toadvine

    October 4, 2011 at 3:35 pm

  11. This Beautiful Tribute touched me deeply!!! An absolutely amazing Family!!!

    Ed & Sharon Harper

    October 4, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    • Though we have been too far from Michigan over the last 22 years,
      we have very fond memories of Bro. & Sis Carpenter. We love and
      respect them very much. We are grieving over the loss of such a
      Great Man of God. Our Love and Prayers to the Family.
      George and Marilyn Hicks
      Boulder, Colorado

      MARILYN HICKS

      October 4, 2011 at 9:35 pm

  12. Words escape me at a time such as this. Pastor and Sister Carpenter have always been there for me and my family in good times and in bad. My heart felt condolences go out to his family. If there was ever a family so full of love for the Lord and for people in general…The carpenter family is it. May the Lord give you Peace at this time in your lives. The Peace of knowing that Your Husband and Father went home to be with His Father.

    Jackie Burden (Zimmerman)

    Jackie

    October 5, 2011 at 2:32 pm

  13. My heart aches for dear Sis Carpenter & the whole family. My thoughts & prayers have been with them & I hope they know how much I love them. Thank you for writing this beautiful tribute to a Godly man!!

    Carlene Branham

    October 5, 2011 at 8:16 pm

  14. I don’t even know where to begin. My pastor for 23 years, a friend for 26 Bro. Carpenter touched my life like no one else. I remember the talks about salvation as a young teenager and the day he rejoiced with me on that summer day at the campground when I ran to him to inform him that I had just received the Holy Ghost. He gave me one of the biggest hugs of my life and I will never forget the look on his face, he was so proud of me and excited that I had finally pushed through. This great man buried me in the wonderful name of Jesus like a father giving away a bride, with excitement, love and a hope that I would live my life reflecting the good values taught to me over the years but knowing that no one could protect me like Jesus.
    Thank you for all your time and prayers that you invested in me. I am changed because of your ministry. I will miss you. – Greg Church

    Greg Church

    October 6, 2011 at 8:38 am

  15. What a beautiful and gracious tribute to Bro and Sis Carpenter. I was privileged to meet them a few years ago – and we have been praying for this family daily. In times like these… its so good to know the Savior and to have the dear and wonderful family of God by our side. I would not trade those last months by my dad’s bedside for any amount of money. Sometimes God allows us a chance to say a proper good-bye… while at the same time granting us the grace to let go. Thank you for this beautiful goodbye… always enjoy your wisdom and way with words.

    Wanda Chavis

    October 6, 2011 at 9:47 am


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