I had the privilege of attending Janice Carr’s celebration service in Las Cruces, New Mexico earlier this month. I went because I felt the Lord directed and led me to go. But little did I know what I would observe during that service. Janice and her husband, Conant, have been missionaries with InFaith for a long time. Conant is a police chaplain and has an amazing ministry among the law enforcement community in that area. A few years ago, he arranged a group of police officers and first responders to get together to have breakfast and I was amazed at how they acknowledged his ministry. Several of them said, “He saved my life. I was going down a road that was self-destructive and he stepped into my life and made a difference.”
But it wasn't the law enforcement community that impressed me, it was the entire Carr family. I watched grandkids, sons-in-law, daughters, and daughters-in-law just ooze love as a family as they honored Janice. It was not a typical service because almost all of the people who spoke were family. And they began to describe Janice as the glue that held things together. She was hospitable, and she held the role in the family of holding them together. But what impressed me the most was that there seemed to be an absence of normal, sometimes contentious family dynamics. People loved one another. Their kids were family and they acted like family and they showed respect for Janice but also respect for God. Person after person in the family spoke about their relationship with Jesus Christ—it was just a great time.
This was my take-away: family is everything and you need to spend time with your family and grow in relationship with them. The entire service was designed by the kids, it was their gift to me and to the rest of those in attendance at the service. Their family, the Carr family, practice a culture of honor with each other. It was an amazing time in New Mexico.