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Learning Together on the Journey of Life

By Ron Diprose

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Preface

When, a few years ago, my wife Adriana and I had the privilege of meeting the Diproses, immediately there grew up between us a bond of mutual confidence and respect. Then from 2006, when the Italian Bible Institute began an Extension School in our church premises, our contacts have intensified and we have enjoyed more frequent visits and quality teaching and ministry from them as a local church.

If someone were to ask us to indicate a couple that more than others work harmoniously together, show mutual respect and are totally complementary, we would certainly have found in Ron and Eunice a perfect example. In particular, Eunice has been the embodiment of the loving helpmeet which every man needs to carry out his ministry effectively.

Reading the pages of this book, that treat the most significant stages of the life of our sister Eunice, from her birth in Tupiza (Bolivia) from missionary parents through almost forty five years of walking together with her husband Ron, one is impressed by how she cultivated wisely and lovingly the garden of her marriage, making the very best of her role of woman, wife and mother. Her continuous support of her husband's ministry, her constant and loving care of her children, her devotion to the Lord and her zeal in the work of God that emerge from this book leave an indelible mark in the heart of whoever reads it with attention. Certainly we can say with conviction of the discreet and kind person that Eunice was, of which we treasure an intimate and sweet memory: "The woman who fears the Lord is to be praised" (Prov. 31:30). Without doubt the story that is told in this book will be a source of great blessing.

- Salvatore Mauro, Palmi (RC) Italy

Introduction

After the sudden home-call of my beloved wife Eunice, a number of people encouraged me to write the story of her life. I started to do this, thinking that perhaps the Lord was behind this suggestion. The story begins in Bolivia, where Eunice was born and lived until she was almost twelve. It was relatively easy for me to recount this part of her story as we have often talked about it and, as a family, we have been privileged to spend time with Eunice's parents in Bolivia several times over the years. But then I ran into a very real problem. As was observed by those who spoke at Eunice's funeral, her name has been associated with mine almost to the point of being fused together as "Ron and Eunice". From when we were married in May 1967, we have walked together. For this reason I found it difficult, and in a way false, to talk about her life without relating it to our journey together.

Even though I have never actually danced with Eunice, I liked to refer to the whole of our life together as a dance, accompanied by song. We enjoyed singing duets, even when we were part of a congregation. At least one of us would add a part, contralto or tenor or both, but always in harmony one with the other. You could say that our life together has been a kind of duet, in which I normally sang the melody and Eunice contralto, but at times it happened that the roles were inverted and hers was the lead voice. In fact, in answering a questionnaire on how she understood her role in life, Eunice described herself as her husband's helpmeet and it is exactly what she has been for the almost 45 years that the Lord gave us to share life together. That is why it would be virtually impossible to do justice to Eunice's life without frequent reference to the things we have done together.

So, in the end, this short book has taken on a different form, not strictly biographical. During the course of our life, and in various spheres of service, the Lord has permitted us to learn many things. We have experienced His faithfulness and his providence in situations in which only He could act. We have shared the joy of growing a family and of becoming grandparents to eight lovely grandchildren. Above all we have had the joy of serving our Lord and Savior together. This book has been written as a way of sharing some of the things that we have been able to learn together on the journey of life.

Because the account that follows is necessarily selective, there is the risk of giving the false impression of what our life together has been, as though it had been a near perfect walk. In reality we have been a very normal couple with moments of misunderstanding and tension. For example, having lived the formative part of our life before the exponential development of the new technologies, we both have had problems accustoming ourselves with these new systems, although we have been constrained to use them. It seemed that almost every time one of us tried to help the other sort out some problem in this area, due to our ignorance, sparks flew. We gradually learnt that it was best to let the other fight alone with the computer! Insomuch as such systems have become part of daily life for those involved, as we were, in education, our irritability forced us to ruefully admit that our humanity was not fully transformed by the grace of God. Which means that, if we have managed to make more progress in other fields, this has been due to the grace of God working in us. To Him be all the glory.

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