A Message from Larry

My dear friends,

How I thank God for your faithful prayers and support for New Life Evangelistic Center. Now I want to ask for you to please keep my children, grandchildren, the NLEC staff, and myself in your special prayers. On Feb. 21, 2007 at 8:15am my beloved wife and NLEC co-founder, Penny Rice went into the everlasting arms of our precious Savior.

 In the hours leading up to Penny’s departure the children and I took turns sitting at Penny’s bedside reading to her from her favorite book Hinds Feet On High Places by Hannah Hurnard. At approximately 2:30am on the morning she was to leave us I was awakened as I slept on a cot next to her bed. I got up and read the following to her from this book. As I read I knew the Lord was speaking to me in preparation for what was about to take place. The book is a story about one called Much-Afraid and her journey to the High Places.

“’I can’t go with them,’ she gasped. ‘I can’t! I can’t! O my Lord Shepherd, why do you do this to me? How can I travel in their company? It is more than I can bear. You tell me that the mountain way itself is so steep and difficult that I cannot climb it alone. Then why, oh why, must you make Sorrow and Suffering my companions? Couldn’t you have given Joy and Peace to go with me, to strengthen me and encourage me and help me on the difficult way? I never thought you would do this to me!’ And she burst into tears.”

 

“A strange look passed over the Shepherd’s face as he listened to this outburst, then looking at the veiled figures as he spoke, he answered very gently, ‘Joy and Peace. Are those the companions you would choose for yourself? You remember your promise, to accept the helpers that I would give, because you believed that I would choose the very best possible guides for you. Will you still trust me, Much-Afraid? Will you go with them, or do you wish to turn back to the valley, and to all your Fearing relatives to Craven Fear himself?’”

 

“Much-Afraid shuddered. The choice seemed terrible. Fear she knew only too well, but Sorrow and Suffering had always seemed to her the two most terrifying things which she could encounter. How could she go with them and abandon herself to their power and control? It was impossible. Then she looked at the shepherd and suddenly knew she could not doubt him, could not possibly turn back from following him; that if she were unfit and unable to love anyone else in the world, yet in her trembling, miserable little heart, she did love him. Even if he asked the impossible, she could not refuse.

 

“She looked at him piteously, then said, ‘Do I wish to turn back? O Shepherd, to whom should I go? In all the world I have no one but you. Help me to follow you, even though it seems impossible. Help me to trust you as much as I long to love you.’” (Hinds Feet On High Places, Tyndale House, 1975, pgs. 66-67)

 

Penny faithfully followed the Good Shepherd, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Now as she has gone to the high places her life has left us a challenge to also move forward even when our guides are suffering, sorrow and now loneliness. If you would like to post how Penny’s life has touched yours  please leave a comment here. Enjoy Penny’s writings here. One which really touched me is entitled, “All Alone,” where Penny shares how the hurt she suffered at eight years of age, when her mother died from cancer, went on to empower her to do the work God had called her to do at New Life Evangelistic Center.

While my daughter Stephanie has been such a help in making memorial arrangements and completing other business following Penny’s death, my other daughter Jennifer has created a special page dedicated to celebrating Penny’s life on the world wide web. You can access this special site by going to www.newlifeevangelisticcenter.org. While you are at that site you can also give a special memorial gift to the work of New Life Evangelistic Center or Consider the Lilies Foundation. Consider the Lilies is a special ministry Penny developed at NLEC to reach out to cancer victims and their families. There is a link on the NLEC site to the Consider the Lilies site if you desire further information. You can also share your thoughts and gifts by writing NLEC at PO BOX 473, St. Louis, MO 63166.

 

In behalf of my family and all the staff at New Life Evangelistic Center, I want to deeply thank each and every one of you for your prayers, cards, gifts and love that you have showered on Penny during her time of illness. We also want to thank you for your support during this difficult time. What a blessing you are. As we continue to work side by side with so many who are in sorrow, suffering, and alone, we must never forget that the Good Shepherd has promised, I will never leave you nor forsake you” and that the scriptures have promised that “all things work for good to them who love God and are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) This may be difficult to see now in our journey to the High Places, but I know from many years of experience that God is Faithful and His Word is True.

 

Yours in Christ,

 

Larry Rice

 

 

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16 Responses to A Message from Larry

  1. CarolHouston says:

    Dear Bro. Rice and Family
    and New Life Evangelistic Family,

    I am so sorry to hear of the great loss you all have suffered, yet rejoice with you that you precious loved one is in Heaven in the presence of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We are praying for you all. Penney will be greatly missed. I always loved to hear her speak on the program. She had such a zeal for the Lord and a genuine love for people. God Bless you all in the coming days. Our prayer is that you will be greatly comforted and given much strength.

    In Christ’s Love
    Gary & Carol Houston

  2. CarolHouston says:

    Dear Bro. Rice and Family
    and New Life Evangelistic Family,

    I am so sorry to hear of the great loss you all have suffered, yet rejoice with you that you precious loved one is in Heaven in the presence of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We are praying for you all. Penney will be greatly missed. I always loved to hear her speak on the program. She had such a zeal for the Lord and a genuine love for people. God Bless you all in the coming days. Our prayer is that you will be greatly comforted and given much strength.

    In Christ’s Love
    Gary & Carol Houston

  3. Craig Diehls says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about Penny. She was a true hero. She made a difference in this world as few people do. Her decisions have been a beacon to us all. It will hard for New Life to carry on without her. I just want the world to know what a wonderful life she led

  4. Lynda Huenefeld says:

    Rev. Rice – My family’s prayers are with you. We thought so much of Penny and were so thankful for both Penny and your help with my sister, Gayle Boone. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Sincerely,
    Lynda Huenefeld

  5. Gayle Peckat Jones says:

    I am so sorry for the lost of your wife and mother. Penny was my cousin and my father was her godfather. Penny came to lived with us when she was 12. I know it was hard on her. I can remember what a good artist she was. She used to draw different faces for me and I wrote stories for each character. She had a beautiful voice and sang solos in church many times.
    I know the six years she lived with us were not the happiest. I wished they could have been. It was by chance that I was able to be present at her wedding. I am glad that I had that opportunity. We did keep in touch, but not always very often, my fault. She sent my daughter a book series about a teenage Christian detective. My daughter and I took turns reading out loud each page, book after book. Penny was so good about sending Christmas cards and letters. I guess I thought Penny would always be around. I know she loved the Lord and He loved her. She was such a good person and such a good witness for Jesus. Even though it hurts that she is no longer here with us, I know she is now with Jesus. God bless you Larry and family. Love, Gayle

  6. Rebecca says:

    God Is So Very Faithful….
    I have never met you or your beautiful wife and mom but I thank you for sharing her with me. It is difficult for me to put into words how moved I was as I happened on to the site, read of Penny’s recent illness and then learned she had died. I have lost many loved ones. I understand the frustration listening to people repeat phrases that sound hackneyed and trite. Though people feel awkward, they are sad, too. They want to share pain which is,in the case of a person as special as Penny must have been, one of the only chances we get in this life to peer through a “portal” that waits for all of us. On the other side is Jesus… He will wipe every tear from our eyes.
    Thanks again and I will keep you in my prayers as the Holy Spirit puts you on my heart.

  7. mark swenson says:

    Where do I begin? I am Penny and Larry`S brother-in -law. Penny and Larry came into our lives awhile ago which was a blessing to Judy, Penny`s sister, and me. There wasn`t any real family close to us. Penny and a friend came for a visit to our house and began to share with me the Love that Christ has for all of us. Soon I began to feel my heart change and become draw to Christ. I have been a believer ever since.I will always be grateful to Penny for leading me to Christ. Having Larry and his family in our lives has been a true blessing to us. Though we mourn the tremendous loss of our sister, we celebrate her homecoming with our Lord. I know that as she passed through the pearly gates and came to Jesus he proclaimed’WELL DONE MY GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT”. I pray that the mighty hand of Christ comforts and strenghthens Larry and family through this time. We love you.

  8. Glenn Kaiser says:

    My Dear Brother Larry and Family,

    I’m on the edge of tears reading what you’ve written here regarding Penny’s journey.

    I can only imagine the sense of loss as well as the certain joy that she has no more suffering in the presence of Jesus. But as is so clear from Hind’s Feet… sorrow and suffering are part of your journey as well.

    We thank God for Penny’s life and witness, for yourself and all the good work at NLEC, and for the blessings Chris and Martha are to us in ministry here in Chicago.

    With Love and Prayers, -Glenn Kaiser, JPUSA

  9. Georfe & Lois Faulconer says:

    Please accept our deepest sympathy for your loss. I’m sure she will be deeply missed. May God give you the comfort that only He can give. Now she is free of pain and walking on the streets of gold.
    God bless all of the family.

    George and Lois
    Eldon,Mo.

  10. Ann Brooks says:

    Dear Larry and Family,
    Have been enjoying your program
    with my children from the time they were in Sunday School. You and Penny
    started off in Wellston and that is
    where i grew up.
    I pray for you and family at this time of sadness. I know Penny is in Heaven.
    I am also looking forward to seeing my love ones in Heaven.
    God bless you Larry and your children and grandchildren.

  11. Geoff Oswald says:

    Dear Larry and family,
    Just a short note to express my heart-felt sympathy to you on the passing of your dear wife, mother and grandmother.
    We can indeed glory in the fact that she is at home with the Lord. Having that knowledge is priceless and will be a source of continued strength and peace as the days, weeks and years go by.
    “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints” (Psalm 116:15)
    I had the priviledge of getting to know Penny when I produced and directed the “Take Heart” TV program for Concord Baptist Church in Jefferson City for a few years.
    Penny was always a source of encouragement to me as I learned the ropes of TV work; always kind, always gracious, always reflecting to me the love of our Savior, and helping me focus not on the work, but on Who we were working for!
    I will be praying for you; that you will be able to rest in the peace Penny now knows so well… His peace; so deep, so tangible, so real, so freeing.
    Sincerely,
    Geoff Oswald
    Holts Summit, MO.

  12. Clara Melville says:

    My daughter and I were homeless in St Louis when we were blessed with the goodness of Penny Rice. Penny hugged us and I felt the strenght of Jesus in her. NLEC feed us, clothed us and kept us safe. Rev Ray gave us the money to get to Baltimore where I am a public school teacher and my daughter is a chef. God bless you, Rev Rice. Penny is with our Father in heaven.

  13. Tim says:

    Rev. Rice,

    You don’t know me. I am just one of the many folks who have watched you on television from time to time, wondering how it is you do what you do.

    I am very sorry for your loss. Your wife seems to have been a wonderful person. I would say that you were lucky to have her, but I suspect that there was more than luck involved. You seem to be a very good man, with a wonderful family, and great kids.

    If you have the time, with your busy schedule, think of me. I am not homeless, or sick, except maybe soul-sick. I am 50 years old this year, and feel like I have made so many mistakes in a life that had much promise. I have been fortunate in many ways, and try to remember that every day, no matter how difficult the day is. Sometimes, though, like now, when I read about your terrible loss, I remember all my own.

    May God bless you greatly, may He restore a smile to your face, and happiness to your heart. May kindness be your every day experience, and may you never want.

    Sincerely,

    Tim

  14. My Dear Brother in Christ,

    May the peace of God be with you.

    We are safe here as you are there, as we are one in unity in Christ God in blessing his work through our society. We became one in Christ and preaching the Gospel everywhere. We are teaching the word of truth to all our Churches. Our motto is Gospel of peace everywhere we go. Though we are facing many troubles among Hindu, Buddhists giving troubles and trials, yet we are attracting the Satan with the two edged sword. Please pray for our Ministry we need your prayers. Kindly lift us up as we are just plants to grow. God bless you Brother, for your good work. My you be cropping the fruitful work for the Lord.

    We are caring the Orphans, widows and lepers also. They are in need of your care and counseling. God is merciful towards them; otherwise they would have been in streets. But they are now so happy and they are so beloved in our sight. We love them and feeding them with daily milk and bread. They need rice (food) daily. Please show your mercy up on them. Thy ear suffering for used clothes. Please provide them with whatever you can. They were so poor once, but now orders for Lord’s work. Please pray and do the work to grow. I hope that you will be great help for us in time of need. Kindly lift us up in your daily prayers.

    We assure you Brother that we will do pray and bless your work more abundantly. God bless you richly you only have to help our Lord’s work. Please pray and encourage our blessed work. We cooperate with your work. Please pray and do the help for the sake of widows, lepers and orphans.

    As you strive for us to work, more in the future we join our hands to work cooperatively with you. Thank you. God be with you.

    Awaiting your favourable reply.

    Yours sincerely in Him

    (S.Nageswara rao Pastor)

  15. Cathy says:

    Dear Rev. Rice,

    My husband and I are sorry for the loss that you experienced this year. We will definately be paying more attention to what is happening at NLEC. We watched Channel 24 this past Christmas, and I feel that we have neglected the poor, the sick, and the homeless to some extent, but it is never too late…I am thankful for the faithful that have contributed to the cause…We’ll never forget Penny and her contribution here,,,Thank you.

  16. Kathy Lopez says:

    To the Rice family,
    I am thankful that my husband had a place to grow as a christian. Charlie
    was orphaned at an early age. I feel that ch 24 gave my husband a place to
    learn. About God, about TV. Penny used what was hers to help others. I know your house was the homeless womens shelter. She was a person that shared her life with others.
    Since Charlie is a native american and
    I am part Cherokee. I liked reading about her life and finding out about things I didnt know. Well may God bless you.

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