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Goodbyes are always difficult, especially when you are bidding farewell to someone who has played a vital role in so many aspects of the church program.

Gordie and Ella Martin are two such people who have been actively involved in the Rutland Church in Kelowna during the 22 years they have been members. At a recent farewell social, tribute was paid to each of them for their many contributions.

Rarely a Sabbath passes where Gordie isn’t in his usual spot in the balcony, videotaping sermons and special programs for shut-ins. And who do we call on when we need a PA set-up or soft background music for special functions? Gordie, of course! Then there’s his faithful attendance at Sutherland Hills Rest Home where his guitar playing is so much appreciated by the residents. What would sunshine band be without Gordie and Ella!

Ella’s contributions are just as valued and include everything from serving as Head Deaconess to SS Superintendent to Funeral Luncheon Coordinator. But she will probably be remembered above all for her passion in sewing little girls’ dresses for various mission projects all over the world. To date, those pretty little dresses number over 4,500! They’ve ended up in countries such as Mexico, the Philippines, Egypt, India, various places in Africa, Guatamala, and most recently in Haiti. Never has Ella had to purchase material for making the dresses; donations for her special project come in unrequested. Just imagine the hours of work involved in sewing several thousand little dresses! Ella did it all out of love for little girls that she would never see herself.

While we will feel the loss of these two special people in our church family, it probably won’t be long before they’re using their special talents and abilities in their new church in the Abbotsford area where they’ll be closer to family in the later years of their lives. May God bless them with continued good health and plenty of energy for making a similar impact in their new church home!

Donna Rose, Communication Secretary, Rutland SDA Church, Kelowna

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