Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

Inauguration Day, particularly this year's Inauguration Day, means different things to different people. For our family, it is a somber day. In 1981, my cousin's husband, Chet Bitterman, was kidnapped in Bogota, Columbia, South America. Chet and Brenda were in Bogota as missionaries, specifically as linguists. Chet was kidnapped on the 19th, but most of us learned about it on the 20th, as Ronald Reagan was being inaugurated.
I have a thick folder full of articles about Chet's abduction and subsequent murder. Chet was held captive for 48 days while Christians around the world prayed fervantly for his release. God had other plans for Chet. On March 7, Chet's body was found with a bullet hole through his chest. I still remember the numbness we felt upon hearing the news.

A book has been written, Called to Die, about Chet's life and death. There are numerous copies for sale on Amazon. This book should be on every family's bookshelf. In May of 1981, our family traveled to Lancaster, PA, for Chet's memorial service. There were hundreds of people crammed into the church sanctuary. My most vivid memory from that service was the singing of Chet's favorite song, "Only To Be What He Wants Me To Be." I still get chills when I hear this song.

My extended family here in Maryland loved Chet. When Brenda and Chet came to a large family picnic (the only kind we have!), we were all impressed with Chet's friendliness, and the fact that he memorized all our names...a feat even I cannot do!

So today our family is rereading all my articles, and talking about what it means to live totally for the Lord. I'm sure Brenda is also reflecting. Brenda married Ken Jackson shortly after Chet's death and they have a wonderful ministry with Wycliffe Bible Translators. They have 4 daughters.

On a different note, this past Sunday morning, Maggie woke up in pain and was unable to move her legs. We don't know if she reacted to something she ate, or medicines, or what, but after many megadoses of ibuprofen, she is doing better. Our family stayed home from church because we weren't sure if we were going to be taking Maggie to the hospital. PTL, we didn't have to. But it was a long day of watching and praying.

My children and I went to Mom and Dad's home to watch the Inauguration ceremony. What a blessing to live in a free country.

Keep warm, think snow. Many blessings ~ Kathie

1 comment:

Deb said...

Kathie ~ this post just popped up on my bloglines at 8 pm ... right after I wrote an email to you thinking that Maggie was doing well. I'm so sorry to hear about the pain in her legs but glad to know she's better. I'll keep praying.