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The perseverance of Ralph O'Shea

Dear Friends of Zion,

Ralph O'Shea: 12 April 1950 - 24 July 2019

It is with sadness that I inform you of the death of Ralph O’Shea, who died at home on 24 July. Ralph was a much-loved member of our church, and will be sorely missed.

For the last 30 years Ralph has struggled with various health issues, but more recently he took a significant downturn. At the beginning of this year he spent five weeks in hospital, and since then has been on oxygen 24 hours a day and struggling with various other health complications. 

Finally, in God’s kindness, the Lord took him home, surrounded by his wife Janet, daughters Hannah and Ruth, and sister Sandra.

Finishing the race

If Ralph was known for anything it was resilience and perseverance. He simply kept on going, trusting in the Lord, in the face of often severe personal struggles. 

Ralph was a great example to us all, in how to fight the good fight and to keep the faith. Personally, if ever I thought I had reason to complain, I just needed to think of Ralph to put everything into perspective again. I will miss his example.

Hope-filled grief

In the midst of the sadness, we are encouraged by the words of 1 Thessalonians 5:14:

For we believe that Jesus died and rose again,
and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus
those who have fallen asleep in him.

Which means that we do not have to grieve like those who have no hope, because God has given us a sure resurrection hope. In the end it is a tremendous mercy that Ralph is with Jesus, is no longer struggling, and that one day he will get a new resurrected body which will work better than his earthly one ever did.

Thanksgiving service

A special thanksgiving service for Ralph was held on Wednesday 7th August at Zion Community Church followed by a tea at the Fore Street Methodist Church.

I am sure the family would appreciate your prayers at this time.

With love

Tim Dennick

Zion Community Church, St Ives