Chapter 5: 1966 - 1995
5.1 1967 - The Visiting Group
In September 1966, Pastor and Mrs E. Logan came to Stanborough Park. He was our minister until 1972.
During the autumn of 1967, 1 suggested to Pastor Logan that the church should start a group for visiting non-members. He gave me his full support and much encouragement. I drafted a letter and sent it to every doctor and consultant in Watford explaining that we were a group of people who would like to be of service to any of their patients, including the old and infirm, the bedridden, the lonely and in fact any whom they thought would benefit from a visit or from help in any way. Within a week, we had over forty names. I asked Mrs Audrey Logan if she would assist me and she was delighted to become involved. We visited the homes, introducing ourselves as 'sick visitors', stating that their names had been given to us by their doctors. The first Sabbath it was promoted twelve of our members volunteered. At the end of three weeks we had 110 names supplied by the doctors and consultants, so again we asked for more help. That Sabbath another sixty joined the ranks. A wonderful work was done for a number of years.
One Sabbath morning I was sitting listening to the sermon when a strong impression came to my mind to visit one of our friends on the list. I told Adina I was slipping out and to expect me when she saw me. How thankful I was that I acted immediately! Mrs Lucas was sitting in her chair unconscious. Blood was pouring from her leg. I phoned for the ambulance and she was attended to and then taken to hospital. Fortunately, she survived. The doctor told me that she would have died if left much longer. She lived alone, had no relatives and no one else visited her except her doctor and our helpers.
Another experience I had was again on a Sabbath. We had been to church, had lunch and as a family were sitting in our chairs resting. Suddenly a thought came to me that I should visit an elderly couple living in Gammons Lane. They both had cancer but the wife was in a more serious condition. It had been snowing heavily during the night and had started to snow again after lunch. The family tried to persuade me not to go, as they were worried about the road conditions. The impression grew stronger and I felt the Lord was directing me. We got the car out of the garage and I drove very carefully to the home. The husband answered my knock. As soon as he saw me, tears filled his eyes but at the same time, he gave me a smile. "How wonderful!" he said, "I have been praying for you to come. My wife is dying I am sure and I wanted you to be with us and to pray for us." I knelt by the bed and prayed for them both asking that God's will be done. As I prayed, she silently breathed her last. I was able to comfort him and get all the help needed at such a time. Many others in the group had wonderful experiences and were richly blessed by letting their light shine for the Lord.
On 28th March 1972, Adina married George Jarvis in Stanborough Park Church and continued to work at Bracknell College as Head of the English Department.
Later in 1972, Pastor and Mrs E. Logan left the Park and I, because of illness, had to give up the leadership of the Visiting Group. Sad to say it died in the middle seventies.
5.2 1976 – Senior Members’ Group
Mama was practically bedridden for two or three years with heart trouble which meant that she - plus Matthew who had developed Parkinson's disease - needed round the clock attention. Mama passed to her rest in January 1975 at the age of ninety.
I retired from being Head Deaconess in 1975, during Pastor R. Surridge's ministry. He moved elsewhere and Pastor V. H. Hall became our minister in 1976.
One Sabbath morning between Sabbath School and the Divine Service, I was invited onto the platform to suggest that something should be organised for the older members. I asked those who were interested in starting a Senior Group to meet me in the Williams Hall after the service Mr and Mrs L. Allen, Mrs H. Anniss, Mrs K. Read, Mrs A. Spofford and Mrs G. Turner came and we arranged a time for further discussion. A committee was formed and it was planned that a Senior Group meeting should be held each fortnight. Many people joined and a wonderful time was had by all. We had talks, slides, outings to places of historical interest, tours to different places of work (such as curtain and carpet manufacturers, Kodak and the Poppy Factory), and parties etc. Many of my helpers and friends are now sleeping, waiting the call of their Saviour. I am very happy that this part of church life is still progressing. Long may it continue.
5.3 1978 - Empathy
In May 1978, Adina collapsed in their home in Bracknell and was unable to go to work. The doctor felt she needed complete rest and care. Because George's job took him away from home for long hours, he suggested that Adina should come to us so that I could care for her. She had a complete breakdown. Our minister, Pastor V. H. Hall, was a regular visitor to our home. Sleep deserted her and pain was her constant companion.
One Friday afternoon, when Pastor Hall called, I was lying on the bed with Adina, as I too was exhausted. He saw how ill she was and specifically requested from the Lord that she should have sleep. I got off the bed and automatically drew the curtains. We went downstairs and Pastor Hall tried to prepare me for a dark time ahead. After saying goodbye, I returned to the bedroom to find Adina fast asleep. What a swift answer to prayer! Allowing time for Pastor to reach his home, I telephoned and gave him the good news. Before retiring that night, I noticed an envelope had been put through the letterbox. Opening it, I found the following poem written for Adina by our Pastor.
After Prayer With One In Pain
And resting, do His will.
Love's chosen task for you today
Is simply lying still.
And trusting, upward trace,
Through eyes that swim with pain and grief,
That rainbow-circled Face.
And sleeping, peaceful lie
Beneath Love's cool and healing hand
And Love's unsleeping eye.
And waking, thankful be.
Love's morning light has filled the world
With joy for you and me.
Victor H Hall
Adina was losing her hold on life as the months went by. Our doctor referred her to the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London, where she was put under Professor M. R. Trimble. Despite their care and attention, Adina made no progress. Her brain had shut down and the pain persistently continued.
Matthew's condition worsened and in early December, he was rushed into St Albans Hospital. My dear hubby passed to his rest, as a result of Parkinson's disease, on 4th December 1978.
5.4 1979 - Fifth Anointing
1979 dawned and Adina was no better. This brought feelings of disappointment, helplessness and of hope deferred. Adina talked with Pastor Hall regarding being anointed. She felt that if it were God's will, He could heal her, and that if it were not, she would accept it. Pastor Hall explained the benefits of accepting something because it was the will of God rather than through frustrating discovery. Adina then talked on the phone with Pastor Ernest Logan, who assured her that God had made a promise of His Grace and that Grace itself was a miracle. The two ministers came to our home on the 27th March 1979 and the anointing took place in the lounge. It was a very solemn but very beautiful service. After the anointing, she was in greater pain than before but testified that she was sure that sometime in the future she would get better. Then she did not realise that many months, even years, would pass before she was well again.
Adina was admitted to the National Hospital in June 1979. After a few weeks, Professor Trimble told us both that she would never come out of hospital because of the severity of the pain she was suffering night and day. She did not respond to the medication and although Professor Trimble rarely used Electroconvulsive Therapy (Shock Treatment), he discussed with other consultants the possibility that it might help.
Adina was frightened of it. She asked Pastor Hall whether he had ever visited anyone having it. He had not. We all prayed and the decision to go ahead was made. It was administered under general anaesthetic on Monday and Thursday afternoons for three weeks. No improvement followed and Professor Trimble stopped it because if it were going to help, changes would by then have been evident.
The staff now spent time with her each day, teaching her the simple facts of living. As weeks went by, she was taken for a walk, to a shop to buy a bar of chocolate, for a ride on a bus and later on the Underground.
Friends and relatives continued praying and sending cards to bring hope and encouragement. Each week Myrtle Cooper drew a little picture and wrote only one sentence under it. This was just as much as Adina could understand and they were always a source of inspiration to her. Pastor Hall talked and prayed with her on the phone and visited her once a week. Very slowly, recovery to mind and body was taking place. I would like to thank all those who, during Adina's breakdown, helped spiritually or physically. As they read this, they will know who they are.
In February 1980, it was suggested that she, having had eight months in hospital, should come home for a few days to see how we could cope. Her bed was kept for her. Each week as we returned to the hospital Professor Trimble could see a little progress.
At times Adina took three steps forward, but slipped back one or even two. Berkshire Education Authority told her they would have to appoint a caretaker Head of the English Department at Bracknell College but that the post would be held for her when she was able to return to full-time work. Although Adina had hoped to continue in her career, this did not become possible. She was very grateful, however, to become sufficiently well to carry the normal responsibilities of living plus some voluntary work.
5.5 1982 - First Flight
When I was 72, I made my first transatlantic flight. Our dear cousins, Brian and Florence Jacques, welcomed us to their home and spoiled us with love. While there, we were delighted to visit many relatives and friends and to see so much of interest. They invited us to make return trips and to go to Hawaii. What wonderful times we had travelling with them thousands of miles to various places of natural beauty! We shall never forget our visit to Ellen G. White's home, Elmshaven. How blessed we are to have the writings of such a prophet in our possession!
Time spent with Brian and Florence helped restore Adina's self-confidence. In 1987, she was able to take up work for `Mind' in South West Herts as Welfare Officer. She was eventually elected Chair and fully enjoyed helping those who were going through experiences similar to her own. Through this long period of time we both can say that we were drawn closer to God and received many, many blessings.
In August 1989, we sold 7, Ellwood Gardens and bought a flat on St Albans Road opposite Stanborough Park. We are very happy here.
In January 1990, Brian and Florence organised a big party to celebrate my eightieth birthday. In fact, the whole of that stay was a continuation of birthday celebrations. On the return journey with British Airways, I was invited to the Flight Deck by the Captain, in honour of my birthday. He talked about how my life had spanned almost from the beginning of flight to Concorde and space travel. They gave me a present and a card signed by all members of the crew.
I am now nearing my eighty-ninth birthday and I do not know what the future holds, but I do know who holds the future. Whatever happens to me will, I am sure, be for my good and His glory.
The preceding pages give just a few snippets of my life. If I were to write all the wonderful answers to prayer - throughout the times of my childhood, youth and marriage when we were in financial need, the times of sickness of my loved ones and of myself, as I had five major operations, this testimony would be much longer. Through it all there has been the love of parents, husband, daughter, friends and above all the great love of my Heavenly Father and His dear Son.
GOD BE PRAISED.