Tuesday, March 17, 2015

In Honour and Loving Memory of Bo Barton

             Bereather [Bo] Barton (1953 – 2015)

My beautiful friend and sister in Christ, Bereather [Bo] Barton
Today I found out that my dear friend of nearly ten years and sister in Christ, Bo (short for Bereather) passed away.  She had often said that she did not want to die alone and that she wanted to die in her sleep. The Lord heard her prayers and answered faithfully.

With her beloved husband by her side in the hospital, Bo slipped peacefully into eternity on Saturday, March 7, 2015.  She was a humble woman of God and a true prayer warrior.

I met Bo and her husband online in a Christian chat room almost ten (10) years ago.  Several months later, we exchanged phone numbers and kept in touch, praying for each other and becoming good friends.  I was living on the strawberry farm in Bobcaygeon, Ontario with my son, who was fourteen (14) at the time.  My daughters had left home the previous year.

When the Lord instructed me to leave Canada in late 2007, Ed and Bo wanted to meet up with me, and I with them.  We all looked forward to it.  Below is an excerpt from my testimony in my book called, “First the Inside of the Cup”, which I wrote in 2012.  It affirms Bo’s love for Y’shua (Jesus), as well as the good fruit she produced.
Ed and Bo Barton - South Carolina, USA - December 2007
It was wonderful to see them, so I grabbed the camera and they were kind enough to pose for me.  When I offered to buy lunch, they decided to take me to a Chinese buffet in the small town closest to where they lived because good food was served.

Ed took the lead and gave thanks, asking the Lord to bless the food that we were about to eat.  Beautiful!  We had a great time, talking about the Lord and all the ways He had been intervening in our lives. 

It was quite refreshing, a real blessing and a great time of fellowship.  I knew that I was in the company of true brethren, saints of the most High God.  Bo wanted me to stay with them for awhile before I headed westward.  Her husband, Ed nodded in agreement, saying that they would both like that.  I loved their Southern drawls. (I love accents; different cultures; people.)

They lived in a double-wide trailer on a nice piece of property.  Although it was a trailer park, it did not seem like one, as the trailers were few in number, with each one well spread apart on a good piece of land.  They also had another trailer (a single) parked beside their home, which they used for storage.

They opened their home to me and made me feel quite welcome.  Bo had suffered years at the hands of doctors, who were always quick to operate on her.  Together, we spent time in prayer, the Word and fellowship. 

The Lord does all things well.  I met some of Ed and Bo’s neighbors.  One man in particular had polyps in his throat and the doctor was concerned that they may be cancerous.  His wife asked me if I would pray.  She was a believer, but her husband was undecided about his commitment.

I knelt beside his chair to pray for him and when I arose there were tears in his eyes.  After hugs, we all left.  It would be over a year later that I would find out that the act of getting down on my knees to pray for someone I did not know meant more to the man than I ever would have imagined. 

Isn't it strange that little things that we do not even consider (or even recall until reminded by someone) could mean so much to someone else? The glory to God alone! It is the precious Holy Spirit who moves and leads us. Keep that in mind the next time that you feel led by Father's Spirit to do a thing on His behalf - all in the name of LOVE (God is love).

All went well and the polyps were not cancerous.  I had intended to leave after the first week, but Ed told me that his wife had been lonely for fellowship and was enjoying my company.  The fellowship was good for me too, as it was a joy to be with like-minded believers, who were quick to pray, read the Word and to discuss things of the Lord.

Step by Step

The three of us ate Christmas dinner together, but they respected the fact that I had chosen not to celebrate the holiday.  Although they agreed with the origins being pagan, they were caught up in the tradition and the love for the season.  I know the Lord leads us all and that He would guide them, His way and in His time. 

They respectfully exchanged gifts privately, whilst I went for a walk along the country roads.  I found the weather amazing as a Canadian.  To me, having no snow in December was a gift in itself!

[End of excerpt]

My stay with Bo and Ed was just shy of a month long before I had to return to Canada quite briefly to take care of an urgent matter.  The weather up north was nasty (blizzard), which greatly slowed down my travelling time.  Be that as it may, upon my return to the States about a week later, I was welcomed back with open arms and invited to stay yet awhile longer.  That is how Bo was (and Ed, as well) – always opening up their home to others.

It was pouring rain the day I had planned to leave.  Instead of the early start that I had anticipated, we had such a time in prayer and fellowship that I left much later than I had originally intended.

Bo had packed me a wonderful lunch of (“just some ‘finger food’ for the road”, she had said) delicious tuna sandwiches, pickles, cheese and crackers, fruit (sliced apples and oranges) and granola bars.  Ed had tucked a note inside the bag of food, which stated:  “God will make this trial a blessing. You’ll see.  Just keep the faith.  Ed”

So much more could be said of her faithfulness and dedication to her husband (a virtuous woman), an amazing quilt maker, a good cook, a superb hostess, humourous, delightful personality, a good heart, perfected by our heavenly Father, a woman with a green thumb, a loyal friend. She walked in love and was loved.

It was Bo who had first told me about the “snake-handling churches” of the south, back in January, 2008.  Never had I heard of such a thing before.  Her and Ed had attended such a church once, but quickly discerned that it was not of God and never returned.  We spent hours and hours over the years talking about the gospel, our Lord Y'shua (Jesus), miracles and more.  O, how she loved the Lord!

She introduced me to many things, including “grits” (a popular and common southern food of native origin – a ground corn food).  I ate it like porridge (much to the horror of a southern waitress). 

Grits are not typically covered in milk and sugar, as I did.  They are flavoured with “salt an’ peppa and lotsa butta, doncha know?!”)  Well, I know now.

Warm, giving, generous, loving, prayerful, loyal, faithful to the LORD - Bo, darling Bereather, my beautiful and sweet sister Bo, true southern belle.  She fought valiantly not only in the spiritual, but in the physical, with year after year and surgery after surgery, bravely facing each battle.  

Bo lost much weight over the course of the past two or three years. She fought long and hard for countless years, giving all the glory to God through Jesus Christ, a true handmaiden of our King. 

 Her husband, Ed, their son Jas (pronounced Jazz) and extended family (surviving sister and half brother), nephews and many others gathered in Ed and Bo's home for a memorial service (a family reunion or get-together, Bo had once stated). Her equally dedicated and faithful husband plans to sprinkle her ashes in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.  Bo wanted that - she loved those mountains. 

 I shall miss you greatly, my friend!

for His glory alone

Bonita                       dovesofthevalleys4@gmail.com

Addendum:  I forgot to put a picture of the cross and the well that Bo and Ed have in their yard.  It often made me ponder.  For example, do you remember when Y'shua/Jesus spoke to the woman at the well (they who drink of Him shall never thirst - He is the Living Water)?  Or how about, "He that believes on Me, as the scripture says, out of their bellies shall flow rivers of living water. [Jn 7:38]   BP

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