Alvin Frank - In Love and Honour
I met Alvin in 2004. It was during our first meeting when he told me his testimony of how he came to be a Christ follower. In light of this testimony of God’s great faithfulness, a paraphrased version of Fannie Crosbie’s hymn comes to mind:
Getting together with Alvin was never on regular scheduled bases, but rather sporadic, on ‘certain days and times’ throughout the year. “Surely this was orchestrated by the Lord”, I would so often think, moments after sharing time with Alvin in the Calgary downtown core.
Each time we met, there seem to be just one more story that I had not heard of. Oh yes, Alvin would often repeat the same story, as if to keep it alive, and fresh, testifying of God’s great faithfulness and mercies which came to him new every morning.
I don’t think ten years of knowing Alvin was quite long enough , and this why I miss him so. I long to sit down with him over coffee at the downtown Bay or Sunterra Market, and hear just one more story -- even if it be one that I have heard before. Given that Alvin is now absent from his body, and present with the Lord, this will have to wait for a little while longer. Ten years was enough time, however, to know that he was not only a man of God, but a man who knew his God.
By faith, Alvin put his trust in Christ. His former life had passed away as he repented, turning from sin and its passing pleasures, in exchange for Christ and the gift of everlasting life. Indeed, all things had become new as he went about, clothed in God’s righteousness, speaking about his new life to family, friends, and strangers alike. From faith to faith, Alvin lived long enough to tell many about what God had done to reconcile man to Himself through His Son Jesus Christ. As a city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden, Alvin let his light so shine before all whom the Lord allowed to cross his path.
Abiding in hope, Alvin understood the hope of the resurrection. According to the Scriptures, Christ died, was buried, and rose again on the third day, and it was upon this blessed and living hope that his faith hinged upon. Hope which had once been lost was restored by way of the cross and the glorious resurrection. The promise of this hope was faithfully kept until his last breath on this side of eternity.
Alvin loved God because God first loved Him. This same holy love, that God so bestowed to him, was channeled to others and touched the lives of many. I will never forget how Alvin would always point people toward Jesus. My wife and I sat at Alvin’s bedside a few days before he went to be with the Lord. The very last words I heard from Alvin can be best summed up in the words in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
This was his story,
This was his song,
Praising his Saviour,
All the day long.
“And now abide in faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” – 1 Corinthians 13:13