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Henry Rempel

Today, I was thumbing through the Winter ’10 Biola Magazine. On page 36, I saw a story about a man named Henry Rempel. I didn’t know him, but our paths crossed on one day in September, 2005.

I was talking with a patient in the Emergency Room at a Fullerton hospital. Another patient was wheeled in with symptoms of a weak heart. You could tell that this was no ordinary patient. The ambulance attendants seemed to deeply care about and admire this man. He spoke very loud and seemed hard of hearing. Everyone was speaking loudly to him. Within a minute or two, the staff, the patients, their family members, and everyone within earshot of him were taken in by his charm, kindness and cheerfulness. The medical staff was talking about how weak his vital signs were and that he should not be able to be sitting up and talking in his condition. The person in charge said “I know, I can’t explain it, but I’m looking at him and he is!”

Soon people were talking amongst themselves about this man’s concern for others. Even though he was the patient, he seemed more concerned with asking the ambulance attendant if he knew Christ. He brought something to the Emergency Room that everybody needed.

The conversation that he had with the ambulance attendant was wonderful. The attendant was listening and responding to every comment made by Mr. Rempel. I think it was no accident that he was hard of hearing and without his hearing aid. As they spoke loudly, I looked around and saw everybody listening to two intelligent men talking about "what is the most important thing". Mr. Rempel was later joined by a Chaplain named Dalton. Everyone was listening to their conversation. Mr. Rempel had gained everyone’s respect and admiration. It was powerful to hear these men discuss with such confidence and certainty what God has promised through the Bible. I could see from the look on the faces of the people that they were talking to everyone in the room (And perhaps to others that would hear the story later).

I followed up to see how Mr. Rempel had done. They implanted a pacemaker in Mr. Rempel that day. According to the Biola Magazine article, he went on for almost another five years, actively serving and inspiring people.

Henry Rempel had great purpose to his life. I'm sure that he had been serving for a very long time and I know that he was very much still serving.