A blink of an eye. That’s how fast these seventy years of life, fifty years of ministry and thirty years as executive director of Friendship House have gone. It all seems like it was just yesterday that I was playing in the back yard with my brothers and sisters or having a last cup of coffee with Dad before I left home to become a Jesuit or saying “I do” as I married Marcy or accepting the challenge to make the Friendship House vision a reality.
Some times that journey has felt like life is one long letting go of pieces of your heart (family members, friends, pets and places) and seasons of your life (a wonderful childhood in Maryland, twenty-three years as a Jesuit priest and missionary, and now thirty years as the director of Friendship House).
The older you get, the more precious every day and every life becomes. It forces you to remember that everything is a gift from God you have for a season which ultimately must be surrender back to the Giver with interest. Life is too short for anger or envy or regrets. The only thing that
you never lose and death cannot touch are the moments when you have loved or have been loved. They live forever. They are as alive in my life today as the moment that they were given.
If the last seventy years have passed in the wink of an eye, it is also just as brief a time before we are all together again forever in a moment of love and joy that will never end. I love you all and feel incredibly privileged that
God blessed me to be a part of your lives.
As I begin the next season of my life, I feel incredibly blessed to be surrounded with friends and am blessed
with Marcy as my wife. I am also grateful that God has given us a new generation of servants to keep the Friendship House vision alive. In Kim Eppehimer, we have a leader who will mold our wonderful staff and volunteers into a team with a single vision and purpose. In our dedicated staff, we have people who walk the walk and give flesh to the Friendship House dream.
I hope to be a part of Friendship House for many years to come, whether it’s serving Sunday Breakfast or staffing winter sanctuary or being that extra set of hands to make a burden easier to bear.
God Bless you all and thank you for your love on my 70th birthday.
– Bill Perkins