There seems to be plenty of room on this DVD, so I'll include a photo album of my (and Mary Charlotte's) friends. Unfortunately, I don't have pictures of some of my best friends, so obviously I cannot include them here. Some perhaps I can still obtain, and I will get busy doing so. I thought of listing them alphabetically, but that seems too artificial, so instead I'll list them by the period of my life (our lives) when we first met them.

Our Friends of the Family

Mary Jo's best friend was Elizabeth Balch (see left), whom she looked upon as a sister-in-law. In fact, she was her husband Clyde's sister-in-law, and a dear friend of all our family. On the right are Bob and Marilyn Baldwin, other dear friends of Mary Jo and the rest of us for many years. Bob was one of Clyde's partners when they operated their saccharin plant in Toledo, and are devout Christians. Bob is on the board of directors for the L'Abri Foundation (Dr. Francis Shaeffer).

Our California Friends

On the left are two couples we got to know soon after we started attending our (Presbyterian, of course) church in North Hollywood Lance and Cora Bowen and Hetty and Harold Conklin. Lance spent his entire working life at McDonnell-Douglas and Cora spent many years as a secretary to one or another personage. Harold worked for many years for a cosmetic company, having the very pleasant job of hiring, training, and directing the young ladies who sold those products. To say he was a ladies' man was putting it mildly. As far as I know, Hetty spent her time raising her paraphlegic son and keeping Harold straight. Of the four, only Cora is still living.

On the right are dear people that came into our lives almost as soon as we settled in North Hollwood at least Lewis McCune did, as we engaged him to build a guest room and bath onto our house very shortly after moving in. Frances entered our lives a little later, but lasted longer, as Lewis died suddenly one day on returning home from work, but Frances is still living. They bought a retail home products store shortly after we got acquainted, but was short-changed on the deal, as the store was seriously misrepresented to them. But due to the disastrous earthquake in North Hollywood (and other nearby places) in the 70's they became quite prosperous. We visited those six people almost every time we came to Los Angeles after we had moved away.

The last two friends from this era are John Bratt (see left) and Bob Bunn (see right). Bob we knew mostly as the man who took John's place as assistant pastor in the Seattle church so John could accompany us on our two ocean-circling trips (see Circling the Atlantic (1958-1959) in Chapter 12, and Circling the Pacific (1960) in Chapter 14.) John, however, was part of our family for many months during those two trips as the referenced chapters show. We visited him years later in Lakewood, Colorado (see Five Travelers), when we all five of us world travelers got together in his home in Lakewood to relive our travels.

Our South Africa Friends

When Terry Sparks and I arrived in Cape Town from our tour of most of South Africa (see Cape Province) we were made the guests of Stella Hofmyer (see left). The very first person we met in Cape Town on our arrival for my stint as senior lecturer in computer science at the University of Cape Town was again Stella Hofmyer, again our hostess. She was such a gracious lady, and we saw much of her when we lived there. My last visit with her was in the fall of 2000. On our third night there in 1976 we were introduced to (Presiding) Bishop Stephen Bradley (see right), whom we soon found to be our neighbor on Ranelagh Road. We had much contact with him and his wife Shirley. I tried to see him on my last visit to South Africa in the spring of 2003, but he was too ill to see anyone and died a few days later, aged somewhere in the 90's, active until the very end.

I had met Rev. Frank Retief (see left) on my visit to Cape Town with Terry Sparks (see above reference) when I spoke at his church. He became one of my most imporant mentors in the Christian faith (along with Pastor Reyes in Cuernavaca, Mexico(see A Busy Two Weeks With Pastor Reyes, and Dr. Bob Smith, from St. Paul (MN), who led me to the Lord in 1956 (see Dr. Bob Smith).) I served on Frank's chuch council (similar to our board of elders) during my time at the University of Cape Town. He was my guest (along with Bishop Joe Bell) in Florida in the summer of 1979 (see Frank Retief). Frank's message led to the conversion of three of our younger wives, the first in our church in a LONG time. During the time of his visit we discussed using a computer at his (St. James) church. The answer was positive, and Mary Charlotte and I went to South Africa in the fall of 1980 to verify the matter (see We Return to South Africa for a Visit). This led to two more years (1981-3) in South Africa. I was on the church staff in the computer department (they called the computer "Pastor Wang"), integrating the computer into the church's life (see Two More Years in Cape Town). Frank and hid dear wife Beulah continue to be two of my best friends in South Africa. Frank is now the presiding bishop of his denomination.

Drina Binedell (see right) one of Mary Charlotte's best friends while I was teaching at Cape Town University (UCT), gave up her apartment to us for our 3-month stay in Cape Town in 1980, as described in the reference second above. I have visited her on each on my returns to South Africa.

Laura Haas (see left) is the one person with whom I have frequent email contact, as I actively support her missionary activity among the Xhosa people in Khayelitsha. She has visited me here in Cape Town twice, most recently in 2002. (See also below Laura Haas.)

Our acquaintance with Laura began during the three years I taught at UCT (1976-78). She then was on the staff of St. James Church, in charge of pre-schoolers (she had about 500). Shortly thereafter she became interested in the work among the thousands of squatters from the Xhosa people in a place called Khayelitsha, 35 miles from Cape Town, and established a Sunday School among the children at "Site B" there, which grew to a full-fledged church with several buildings and a full-time pastor (see right).

She then established a second church at a nearby place in Khayelitsha called Mandela Park (see left). The picture was taken in 2000, when I taught a Bible class there (see Trip to South Africa in Chapter 27).

The third church plant was in another part of the city. This time Laura and a Xhosa lady (Elizabeth) (see right, the first two on the left), who operated a preschool in her home, were given the idea of a community center, with the preschool as the first of seven buildings to be located on a huge piece of property (see left below) purchased by the organization "Uyesu Unathi" ("in Jesus' name") which they founded. The preschool was completed and operated by Elizabeth's daughter as of January 1, 2003.

Two more buildings (the multipurpose building that serves as the church, and the pastor's house) have now been completed and are in use, and the others are well into the planning stage.

Laura is truly the most remarkable missionary it has been my privelege to assist.

Radie and Leslie Goatham (see right, with Mary Charlotte) were undoubtedly our most prized friends in South Africa. He was a "shunter" (i.e., a freight yard conductor) on the South African Railways. He favorite saying was: "There three ways to do something the right way, the wrong way, and the rail way." Les was Frank Retief's first convert, and became the church verger when he retired. The verger oversees the colored people who do the work of keeping the church property in good condition. He also opens and closes the buildings and is responsible for security. Les also was the first of several to produce audio tapes of the services. Mary Charlotte and I spent our last three months in South Africa in 1978, as substitutes for Les and Radie to permit them to visit family in Australia. Leslie died in 2002 and Radie the following year.

I place Albert (Frank's cousin) and Hilary Retief (see left) as our next best friends in RSA. Albert interviewed me over the first Christian radio station (established by HCJB) in RSA (Republic of South Africa) in my 2003 visit as the movie "Apollo 13" was then being shown there (see Apollo 13) in Chapter 27. They helped us in innumerable ways on our many visits and sojourns in their country.

The remaining friends cannot be quantified. Cedric and Tyree Harris (see right, with daughter and son-in-law) were early friends. We and later I stayed in their house several times.

Joyce and Ernest Elmes (see left) were among the first to welcome us to St. James Church. Joyce was Mary Charlotte's best RSA correspondent and still keeps me posted. Ernest, among many other ways, helped me out in a disputed rent case.

John and Naomi de Kock were former OMF missionaries to China in the early days of that work. When we met them, John was business manager for OMF in South Africa. I spent four weeks there programming FREDA for their office (see Back to South Africa Once Again in Chapter 23.) Since he had no background in computers, I had him come to my house for a three-week stay, during which I gave him a crash course in computer science in the morning and FREDA in the afternoon, which probably confused him more than it helped. My last contact with John was in 2003 (see "Goodby" Party in Chapter 30, where you will see two other couples we knew there John and Helen Higson and Mark and Jeanne Westgate).

Other International Friends

In England, we have had a long association with the Emery family. In the picture to the left (left to right:) Pam's mother, Mary Charlotte, me, Dothory Emery, daughter-in-law Pam Emery, and Reg. We have visited them many times as we pass through London, and Dot and Reg spent a week with us in our trailer days (see Touring the US and Canada by Trailer in Chapter 18). Their older son Mike lived with us in California for six months (see Mike Emery Lives with Us in Chapter 16).

On the right we have Elizabeth and Austen Dundas, old friends from our first sojourn in South Africa, whom we visited there, as well as in England and in Montreal, Canada. Elizabeth and son Matthew stayed with us in Homestead several weeks. Austen provided us with Southn Africa rands for US dollars many times.

Osamu Okamura was one of the first graduates from the Tokyo Tyrannus Hall. He felt called to the Christian ministry and wanted to get his training in the US. I sponsored him for this (see Sponsoring Osamu Okamura in Chapter 17), and thus became a close friend. He is shown on the right with his wife Masako (who lived with him in the US while he studied at Fuller Seminary in Los Angeles) and their three children. We have visited his family in California and Toyko many times, the last in 1994. He was afflicted with kidney failure and was on dialysis for many years while pastoring two churches. He died, in 2003 I believe.

One of most amazing men I ever met was Tokumboh Adeyamo (see right). He was then general secretary of the Association of Evangelicals of Africa AEA (originally "and Madagascar" AEAM), an umbrella organization of national and international Christian groups operating in Africa. He visited our church in Homestead, and I had the privilege of meeting him and hosting him for two days (see Tokumboh Adeyamo in Chapter 24). I later visited him in Nairobi (see Nairobi, Kenya also in Chapter24), and spent one week teaching his wife Ireti and secretary Mary Kumasi how to use the program Ventura for desktop publishing. I gave him a computer system and Ventura to do this. He told me he led an all-night prayer meeting for his church once a month to which more than 500 attended. He and his organization had a major part in brokering the creation of a multi-racial government in South Africa.

Our Homestead Friends

Our best friends in Homestead (FL) are Mary and Jack Polk (see left where they flank their son John and his bride) and Fritz and Anne Kalmey (see right). Mary and Jack practically introduced us to the Presbyterian church in Homestead and introduced us to many of their friends who soon became ours also. She badgered me into teaching Sunday School and later to become a trustee. Jack led (and still does) a men's Bible study breakfast at the Redlands Church. The Kalmeys are great travelers, but in between trips, Anne hosts many dinners and special events, such as Christmas parties (not always in December).

The first person to befriend and help us was Bob London (see left). This is only picture I have of him, cut out of a group picture. We had bought an old farm house and 2 acres of what was left of the farm (see Bob helps with fence in Chapter 22). South of us was a HUD development with six houses abutting our property. Bob, with his tractor bored all the post holes (62 of them!) and stretched the fence wire along them, without allowing me to compensate him, except for one two-hour period when we tried to pick limes from his 10 acres of trees (which nearly killed us!).

We didn't find out until much later that Bob suffered from cancer. With two periods of chemotherapy (which almost killed him) he bought a few years of remission. When it became necessary for another treatment, he took his own life rather than subject his wife Peggy to his suffering (see right). She soon became one of our best friends and still lives alone on her large property.

The only other couple we considered good friends for which we have a picture are Shirley and Ray Van Hook (see right). Ray was quite active in Redlands Church, usually leading the service, except for the pastor's sermon. He died a number of years ago, but Shirley is still active. She operated a SCUBA dive shop and personnaly taught her customers to use the gear.

Our Cape Coral Friends

On December 8th, 1989, we moved to Cape Coral, on the southwest coast of Florida (see We Move to Cape Coral in Chapter 24). It was a difficult decision, but I now believe it was God's will for us. Except for a year in the country after Mary Charlotte's death, this has been our (my) home ever since. In these nearly sixteen years we have made many friends, as usual among the members of EPC (Evangelical Presbyterian Church).

As related in Chapter 25 (see What HAFF Has Meant to Me), one of my closest friends was Lee Johnson (see left, with wife Becky). Lee is a remarkable man. Retiring from management in the Sears store in Port Charlotte, he became an investment advisor for SunTrust Bank and later several brokerage houses. Since 200x he has been full-time business manager (and elder) of EPC. I helped him with HAFF donation receipting and accountiong for many years and more recently have been doing specialized data entry for him one morning a week. Becky is always involved whenever there is a meal at the church.

Diane and Dan Smith (see right) were the closest couple Mary Charlotte and I had and they still are my best friends from EPC (although they no longer attend there). Diane is a boss cook and loves to entertain. I have had more meals there than I can count all gourmet. She opened her home for our Bible study group after Oliver Claassen became our pastor. We had dinner with her on that fatal day when Mary Charlotte had her stroke. Dan, retired from IBM, is a crackerjack boat engine fixer-upper. They have a summer home in Maine, so are gone for nearly half the year, but I have managed to have a meal with them at Perkins Restaurant or their home several times a year.
Eric Mullinax was not only a pastor to me, but a close friend as well (see left). As I have told several times, Boo Mullinax was a life-saver for me in caring for Mary Charlotte after her stroke. I have stayed overnight with the Mullinaxes in their present home in Chatanooga TN, where he is associate pastor of the PCA church there.

On the right are Bob Johns, his wife Pam and two of their three children. Bob and Pam have been such good friends to both of us, and especially to me after Mary Charlotte's death. They have helped us to move and settle in twice. Since Bob has worked in the planning departments of both Punta Gorda and Cape Coral, he knows the local political situation. I seek his advice each election.

Barbara Beeman was the secretary of EPC when we first arrived in Cape Coral, and had been for many years. When I gave my computer system to the church in 1990, I insisted on visiting rights, and spent many hours sharing the church office with Barbara. She continued through the pastorates of Revs. Randy Thompson and Eric Mullinax, but retired when Rev. Oliver Claassen became the pastor.

The following dear people have been friends, but not as close as the above four couples. These pictures came out of EPC's directory for 2004. I will show them as a cluster, and make a few remarks about them below.

Dan and Debi Chandler have been friends for many years. Dan is retired for disability from the Cape Coral Police Department, and served for many years as caretaker for EPC. Joe and Greta Cook attended my seven-year Bible course and also made a patch of the quilt our friends made for Mary Charlotte after her stroke. Mary Daigle is the smallest lady in the church but very active in the Lee County Crisis Center an anti-abortin group. Jack & Joyce DeJong have been friends of ours for many years at EPC. Jack did a lot of work readying the Fellowship Hall when it was first built.
Dr. Jim Jent is a middle school teacher here in Cape Coral, and for many years has generated the audio tapes of our Sunday morning services. Wayne and Lois Johnson were among the very first people to befriend us when we started to attend EPC, and attended my adult Sunday School class for most of its run. Virginia Keim is Diane Smith's step-mother, so the Keims are always guests at her famous dinners, where we got well acquainted with them. John and Ruth Klunder often attended Diane Smith's dinners, where we got well acquainted with them.

Mary Krell has been a friend from the early days at EPC. Jerry Kuhn runs a printing plant, which did the printing and binding of both editions of "My Biography." He allowed me to do as much as I could and made sure the finished product was high quality. Gary Loderhose is a computer expert, and helped me several times with mine. His oldest daughter Emily has just left for a two-year missionary assignment as a student in a mainland Chinese university. Jim Taylor has been a faithful doctor to both of us until I went to live in the country, when I shifted over to Dawson Gladding, once associated with Jim Taylor. Sue Taylor has served as EPC's Providence School administrator, without salary, from its beginning. She has also served as choir director.

Dave Valkenburg was the nurse in charge of Mary Charlotte when she had her stroke and told me how serious it was. He served many years as clerk of the session. Paula has served as organist and as parish nurse. She is Carolyn's sister, and both are children of Paul and Geneva Faris. Bob and Margery Walter have been old friends from the early days. I'm sad to say, their health has seriously declined recently, so they can no longer attend EPC. Sylvia Wicktor was another of my faithful Bible class students. Bill and Betty Zoller have been guests at many of Mary Charlotte's and Diane Smith's dinner parties, and are interesting people to know.

Our North Fort Myers Presbyterian Church Friends

Many of these folk were also attending EPC when Mary Charlotte and I were, but I took them out of that large listing above to show here. I have already told you about our pastor, Dann Cecil, and his wife Christi and their three precious children in Chapter 34 (see Our Pastor and Family). I'll present those folk as I did my friends at EPC emphasizing the closest of them and clustering all the others.

Martin and Bonnie Price (see left) became my closest friends when I moved into my country home to be near ECHO. As you have seen over the many chapters of this book, they have had a major influence in my life since coming to the Cape Coral area. But since I moved into the counry, they have taken a personal interest in me almost adopting me as a foster father. When Huricane Charlie hit us so hard in 2004, my country place was without electricity for five days, but my phone still worked. So I lived in their home during that time, and they came daily to my place to get their calls made. Bonnie has taken a very strong stand for my welfare ever since I volunteered to do the tutoring of Zach and Gabi Van Schoyck. Martin has gone out of his way many times to see that I had vital work to do for ECHO, as the technical people who usually supplied me with jobs would get tied up in their responsibility to keep the computers (ECHO has over 50 in their local network!) and phones (which now include an extension to HAFF in Haiti!) running.

Dawson and Lucy Gladding (see right) have also taken very good care of me since I left EPC and Dr. Taylor. Dawson did not practice for well over a year when he was recovering from a very serious back injury, but when he started a little over a year ago, I was one of his very first patients. I have seen him professionally many times and twice a week at church on Sunday and at his home for Bible study and prayer every Wednesday evening. Dawson is one of our three elders and has been very active in getting our fledgling church into operation. In taking part in the fixing up of our new rented facility he tried (and almost succeeded) to cut his left arm off with a power saw. But he still has Bible study, which he normally leads, at his home every Wednesday evening!

Earl and Linda Jordan (see left) have meant a lot to me ever since Hurricane Charlie trashed my condo. As related in Chapter 32 (see Hurricane Charley ), Earl not only took care of everything for me but sold it at more than three times its purchase price six years earlier! They have also graciously allowed me to ride to church with them nearly every Sunday since I moved into Westbay from the country in June 2005.

Jery and Peg Smyth (see right) were among the very first people to befriend us when we began attending EPC. They have continued to look after me after Mary Charlotte's death, and give me a ride, along with Carolyn Faris, every Wednesday night to the Gladding's home in Ft. Myers for our weekly Bible study. Jerry had a severe stroke in 1992, leaving him with continual health problems, but not incapacitating him altogether. Peg has faithfully taken care of him ever since.

I will show the remainder of our North Fort Myers friends in a cluster, similar to those in EPC above. Many of these came from EPC and were among our friends then.

Beverly & Billy Adams; Carolyn Faris; Rev. Paul & Geneva Faris; Dick & Jennifer Fessel

Beverly has been a dear friend, actually mothering me whenever I have a touch of weakness. Billy is a magnificent Bible teacher, practically on a par with Dawson Gladding and far above me. Carolyn also was well known to us both in EPC and continues to assist me frequently, particularly, with Peg Smyth, in taking me to and from Bible study at the Gladdings each week. Rev. Paul and Geneva Faris have been special friends ever since they moved, after his retirement from his western church, next door to their daughter Carolyn. For a number of years they have been conducting a Sunday service at Westbay, right after the noon meal. They introduced me to Westbay and were influential in my coming there. Dick Fessel hosted a men's Bible breakfast when Randy Thompson was our pastor (he led it). Both Dick and Jennifer have been long-standing friends. Barbara Beeman (see above) has also joined our new church.

Wanda & Earl Guinn; Mark & Sharon Kreig; Bob & Virginia MacDonald; Lucy & Lanny Moore

We both knew Earl and Wanda Guinn in the years when they attended my Sunday School class at EPC. Mark and Sharon I have gotten to know better since they joined with us at NFMPC. Bob and Virginia have been friends in both churches, and it has been a pleasure to know them. Lanny and Lucy Moore befriended us in EPC years ago, and now Lucy is going through the same isolation after Lanny's death that I went through when Mary Charlotte died.

Ruth Brewer; Pam Gastineau; Kraig & Jody Hankins

Ruth Brewer and Pam Gastineau were among the senior members of EPC. The first job Oliver Claassen gave me when he became our pastor was to "organize" our senior members. But our senior members didn't want to be "organized." So I failed in my job, and Oliver never gave me another. However I did get to know these delightful senior members (including Bob and Virginia MacDonald), so I was glad for the opportunity their coming to NFMPC has given me to continue our friendship. Kraig and Jody Hankins have been our friends for many years.

Missionaries I Have Known

The first three have really been special almost family to me. Chuck Corwin really was the first missionary in my life, when he and his family visited our church in North Hollywood in 1956 (see Chuck Corwin in Chapter 11). He got me started in visiting missionaries in 1960, when our family was touring Japan (see With Corwins in Japan). He was my host in several counries: Japan, Mexico, and India.

The Van Schocks were not the second family in my life. but during the nine months I was tutoring their children (see Chapter 31. Intern in Haiti), I was practically one of the family. After nearly ten years as the senior missionaries for HAFF in Haiti, they have been appointed Joint CEO's of HAFF, as of September 1, 2006, allowing Bonnie Price to retire after her many years in that job. The whole Van Schoyck family are still very dear to me.

Laura Haas meant so much to me that I twice asked her to marry me. Her first refusal shook me up somewhat, and I went to the Lord to ask Him to change her mind if He wanted me to marry her, but, if not, to have her refuse emphatically, which she most certainly did on my second proposal. She even took me to task about mentioning the fact of my poposals to her friend, Tyree Harris. Nevertheless, we remain close friends and I faithfully support her work.

The following cluster contains sixteen missionary families I have personally met. I will comment on them below the clusters.

Dennis Booth Family, Chile; Oliver Claassen, Australia; Connie Curilla, Haiti; Wayne & Anne Curles, Myanmar; John & Naomi de Kock, China

Rick Hendrix Family, Spain; Jim Barb Howard, Haiti; Shirley Killosky, Marilyn Laszlo, Papua New Guinea; John Christie Leonard, France

Gary Meier Family, Ecuador; Anne Elise Merritt, Benin; Quentin Nantz Family, China & Taiwan; Dr. Jerry Pennington, Haiti

John Steketee Family, Ivory Coast; Carla Stevens, Belize; Rod Thomas Family, Japan; Jean & Rick Willans, Hongkong

I have personally become acquainted with all of the above, and many, many more whose pictures I do not have. Many of them I have visited in their fields, as related in the text. They are all regular people, differing from non-missionaries primarily in their sense of God's special call to their work. Half of them are no longer in the mission field, either retired or released from God's call. Three fourths of the others I support, and thus receive frequent prayer letters concerning their work. It has been a great privilege God has given me to know these wonderful people.

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