8/28/1919 to 11/26/2009
While many pages could be written about what Grandpa accomplished in his lifetime of over ninety years, one memory stands out to me.
Jen and I were visiting him and Grandma Dorothy several summers ago, about a year after we had finished the full-time training in Anaheim. On our way to Corning, I asked the Lord how Grandpa was with Him. I didn't know how to bring up the subject with someone so much older than me, and whom I respected to the uttermost. So as he and I were sitting on the sofa while Jen and Grandma Dorothy were off doing something else, I wanted to say something, but didn't know what.
That's when Grandpa turned to me and said something like, "You know, Ben, I feel like the Lord has been taking care of me my whole life."
I was first amazed, and then thankful to the Lord for answering my earlier prayer. Grandpa proceeded to tell me of an experience he had while in the Air Force, flying a large cargo plane. While flying in formation, the pilot to his left began to roll right too early, heading directly for Grandpa's plane. Grandpa gave it power and pulled up as fast as he could in a plane that large, causing the two to miss by less than 50 feet. Once on the ground, the other pilot was devastated thinking of the accident he had almost caused, but Grandpa was stern yet forgiving.
What was even more impressive than this story was how Grandpa's comment reflected the end of the life of another man of God, Jacob. Genesis 48:15-16 says:
And he blessed Joseph and said, The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, The God who has shepherded me all my life to this day, The Angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the boys; And may my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; And may they be a teeming multitude in the midst of the earth.Praise the Lord who both shepherded Jacob all his life, and who took care of Grandpa his whole life.
Every time we visited Grandpa in the last decade of his life, he always had a new story to tell me, one I had never heard before. And the final time we saw him, this past summer, he got to meet his Great-grandson, who shares his middle name, Jesse, and who is the first boy of his generation to bear the last name Gallarda.
Thank You, Lord, for Grandpa.