MOVE BEFORE YOU HAVE TO MOVE

by Sharon and Darrell Johnson

Shortly after Darrell was called in the Fall of 2009 to serve as Senior Minister for First Baptist Church Vancouver, we were having dinner with fellow parishioners Patsy and Paul Pearce. Paul at that time was serving as Executive Director of Beulah Garden Homes in East Vancouver, and shared with us the vision of the Society to build Aspen Green, a Seniors Independent Living complex on the campus of BGH. We were at the time in our early 60s, and were immediately taken by what Paul explained. So we started praying about whether we should sign up for this new adventure

We had observed that too many seniors…were waiting “until they had to move” to move, leaving their children and grandchildren in the awkward situation of having to raise the issue of moving.

A few years later Darrell suffered a heart attack and later a stroke. Sharon began thinking about where she would want to live should she become widowed sooner than later. And she came to the conclusion that she would want to live in a place that offered Christian community. Someone encouraged her with the wise advice, “move before you have to move.” We had observed that too many seniors, understandably wanting to hang on to their “comfortable” lives in their homes, were waiting “until they had to move” to move, leaving their children and grandchildren in the awkward situation of having to raise the issue of moving. And so, we decided that though we could still maintain our home (Darrell really enjoying taking care of it), we would take the step of faith, and bought into Aspen Green, finally moving in February of 2018.

We are deeply grateful for the Lord enabling us to do it. AG, as we call it, is the nicest place we have ever lived. And we have found in it a supportive community among singles and couples, most of whom have lived in Canada for a number of years, but the majority of whom came here from cities around the world.

“Move before you have to move.” And enjoy the greater simplicity, freedom, and new friendships.

About the author

Darrell is a Retired Pastor and Professor (Regent College and Carey Theological College), author, mentor of young pastors. Married to Sharon since 1971, father and grandfather. Sharon is an Early Childhood Educator, wife, mother of four and grandmother of eleven.

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