Doug Hosking is a former pastor of the Williams Lake SDA Church. Pastoring from Sept 1, 2000 to Sept 1, 2007 before retiring, he and his wife Carolyn had stayed in the local area and continued God's work in the various local SDA Churches.
Recently they had decided to relocate to Kelowna. Shortly after, it was discovered Doug had a brain tumor.
When he contacted our church to request one final Sabbath to say his farewells', we were a bit concerned - would his health and energy levels allow that? Would it prove too much? Would we be peeling his off the floor? After prayer and much consideration, it was decided we would try, but keep an alternative speaker ready, just in case things turned worse at the last minute.
Doug had originally been given only about two months. They have completely changed their diet to a complete vegan one, and at the latest check up he was given up to a year!
Pastor Norm Johnson had the special music, and beautifully sang and played on his guitar "I've got a mansion." Then a male duet sang "Whispering Hope,” after which Doug spoke on how firmly we need to have the gospel in our hearts, and that our job was to finish proclaiming His Glory, so Jesus can return for us. God does not leave us alone, for He has us earmarked for Heaven.
God will always look after us. We need to press together, to make us one people - His people. Interspersed between, there were four more songs sung acappella, with his daughter Chena singing with him. There were many different recent personal stories of God's protecting love in his life in the past few months. At times it was difficult to find a dry eye.
After the service, most of the full house stayed for the delicious potluck. We had picked up a huge cake. On it were "ties and scarves," the theme for the day, as Doug loves outlandish ties, and Carolyn always wears scarves.
Afterward, Doug had a slide show of favorite pictures. On arriving in the morning we had everyone sign a specially purchased tie, and this was handed to Doug - a church full of signatures for him to remember all those that were present. Anne Gayton had purchased some helium filled balloons, and everyone went outside to release them. Many lingered.
The total attendance was 173, with 64 being visitors. They came from as far away as Manitoba, and Washington USA.
We can look forward to seeing each other again on that great day when our Lord returns!
By Bev Taylor, Communications Secretary, Williams Lake Seventh-day Adventist Church
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