“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the childrena of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.”
Gary LaRose was a man with a very full quiver. If you consider the arrows that this psalmist is referring to as children physically born to him, then technically he and his amazing wife Leonora only had two; April and Patti and no grandchildren.
However, Gary had a greater heritage of The Lord than many may know.
I have been told more than once that Gary and Leonora prayed for a son to be a preacher, but God gave them two daughters ‘instead’. Two young women, with sharp minds and tongues. Gary and Leonora had their work cut out for them in training these two arrows to fly straight. With much prayer and a willingness to let God direct the path they would take, Mr. And Mrs. LaRose released these two women of God to pursue the path God had for them.
April married Nate Thomas, a preacher. These two have travelled across North America sharing the Gospel in such unique ways. God has used them to add many children to His family and at the same time, Nate and April have become the parents of many spiritual children.
Patti became a high school teacher and coach. After 5 years she followed Gary’s example and ‘retired’ young. She stepped out in faith and co-founded CrossTrainers Canada. Patti has also spent the last 10 years of her life loving people of all ages and discipling many in the truth of God’s Word. At times Patti’s path has crossed with April and Nate’s as she has also travelled across North America ministering to hundreds of kids at camps and conferences. Although Patti is not married and has not given birth to any physical children she also has hundreds of spiritual children.
God has used these two arrows to pierce the hearts of many and see hundreds of lives changed for His glory. The family of God has grown through the heritage of the Lord God blessed Gary and Leonora with. Praise God that Gary’s quiver was full enough with them! He was not ashamed standing in the gate and will one day see many enter through the gates of heaven because of the way he fathered these two beautiful women.
Gary Roger LaRose – October 19, 1939 – December 10, 2012