October 22nd, 2017 8:40am Fellowship
9am Discipleship Classes
10am Worship Service
11:15 Potuck & Congregational Meeting
Ruth & Mike Hryshkanych
Mike and Ruth Hryshkanych served as Camp Director and Director's Assistant at LLBC for many years. Mike was a forester by education and came to LLBC with his newlywed wife Ruth in the year 1975. By 1982 their two children Jason and Sarah had been born and increased the number of staff to 5. Mike & Ruth officially retired from the ministry in May 2015.
Mike grew up in New Jersey and attended the University of Florida. Ruth grew up in Staten Island NY and in the Congo, Africa as a missionary kid. After completing a nursing degree, Ruth attended Trinity Divinity School in Deerfield where Mike was continuing his education. They met in a small Bible study fellowship there.
Mike went home to be with the Lord in January of this year. His life was celebrated in an amazing service that honored and glorified his Savior, Jesus Christ.
Hryshkanych Summer Update 2017
I was doing so well. Now June and July are gone and I’m into August and life is speeding along with full days and much more to do that doesn’t get done. Nights are still lonely and I get phone calls from other widows who cry with me. I remind myself that I comfort others with the comfort God has given me but it works both directions.
Our family reunion (Mike’s mom’s family) was so good – with a simple memorial service for him, his uncle and 2 aunts – all gone in 6 months. After the reunion, I had 2 great weeks joining friends for suppers, followed by prayer times for our church’s Czech Missions team – then picked them up at the airport for some great stories of God at work. Then more days helping in the camp kitchen; taking care of and having fun with camp staff kids; Grandma Camp with my friend Martha’s family (someday it will be Jubilee, me, her brother, plus my sister’s grands!); preparing for the camp bus tour in September to CO; a swim or two; Congo friends’ visits (Judy & Lois T – fun!); lots of paperwork, finances and still replacing things stolen with my purse; a long weekend with Sarah and friends; supper prepared for me by 2 former SEEDS girls; my sister’s family visits; 2 church picnics at camp; visits from camp friends; and the list goes on – summer stuff in beautiful sunshine and some cooling rains and God’s incredible creation.
Thank you for your love and care as you pray and share life with me!
Below is an article about Jubilee and me, Mike’s birthday, and the anniversary of Daddy’s death.
I spent so much time in June with Jubilee, taking care of her while her parents prepared for UWSports training camp, then all of us being at the camp, then a family reunion in MO, that when I brought her and Heather to Heather’s parents in West Bend, my ache in leaving her was deep. I spent the night with the DeLanys and in the morning loaded up my van. Jubilee watched. When it came time for me to go on alone, back home, I picked her up to carry her outside, not wanting to let go, not wanting to be alone again.
In her little mind, packing my van meant we (she and I) were going somewhere, as we had been doing for weeks. From my arms she threw kisses to her mom and then to her grandma and waved goodbye to them. My heart broke. I had to hand her back crying to her mommy. I knew she would quickly be OK and have a wonderful time with her other grandma, but I was not OK. I cried for hours on my way home to Pembine.
Is that how Mike clung to the Lord? Waving goodbye to those of us he loved as he left this earth in the arms of the Savior? I believe that as he so peacefully left this home. He was going on and it was OK to leave the ones he loved here because he would see us again. (Psalm 63:1-8)
The week of July 10 I cooked in the camp kitchen to help out. July 12 was Mike’s birthday. Many friends sent me cards, texts, made phone calls, gave me hugs and prayed for our family. A dear friend and young mom who loved Mike wrote: “In honor of today being the birth date of one of the greatest men I’ve ever known I am officially declaring today from this day forward as World #belikemike Day!! Today, show your love to others, be compassionate, unselfish, encouraging, patient, and share Jesus!! Love God first and others before yourself! #belikemike #whatsyourlegacy” And she pictured her Wanna Be Like Mike T-shirt. (Thank you, Tracy!)
Another precious young family, not even knowing Mike’s birth date, brought me a party in a bag: cake mixes, cupcake papers, sprinkles, frosting , and sweet homemade cards. I baked up the cupcakes, ate one triple chocolate, and shared the rest with the camp staff to celebrate Mike’s birthday, spiritual birthday, and first birthday in Heaven, thus taking my focus off the pain and loss for awhile as I had sweets to share. (Thank you Matt, Beth, Elliot and Lewis - what a healing blessing!)
Jason, our son, wrote me on his dad’s birthday: “Hey, mom, thinking of you especially today. So glad dad is celebrating in ways far greater than our earthly parties. I can't stop crying and it hurts. I miss my daddy so much and I don't even think I have started to realize it. I know you miss him even more and that pains me too. I love you, mom, and so thankful we still have you.” Sarah, too, shared her sorrow that day and loved on me.
On the flip side of Jubilee’s clinging to me is her return to her mom’s loving arms. Oh, the depths of our pain and loss. But as deeply as I long for Mike’s arms, I know that that is impossible and in his broken body I would not wish his return to me. So I reach out and cling to the arms of the One Who loves me even more than my precious husband did. The arms of God will never let go of me, He will never leave me. I will someday go to them both. (As I am still alive there must be more for me to do here.)
The pain continues and memories just don't fill the spaces Mike’s presence filled. I miss the tender loving godly man he was - an incredible hubby. He took such wonderful care of us his family, and our home.
My dad died 4 years ago that same week, and he, too, was a wonderful godly loving man who served others well. I pray many younger men who knew them will remember these two men and follow their example to bless their own families.
And may the things I write cause many to cling to our God, the One and Only, the most loving Friend and Father. He is always there for me and I couldn’t make this journey without Him. Isaiah 40:11 and 43:2 Joshua 1:9
July 2017 Mike’s been Home, face to face with Jesus, for 6 months.