Serving the Lord in the USA

Mrs. Ruth S. Gross
August 2018

Today is Friday, and eleven attended Bible Study. Joe and Georgia Cherny moved into River Commons, June 1, 2018. They are Presbyterian and beautifully grounded in His field of service. Joe as the church treasurer holds a pre-service prayer meeting on Sundays. Georgia writes music and plays piano. They have been friends of mine forever; they knew me before they were Presbyterian. Right here in my apartment I taught her from God’s Word, primarily from Ephesians, the fact that God knew her before she was born; and her name was written down. This fired a desire in her I credit to the Holy Spirit.

To continue with my beloved ministry, I must have financial support. To remain at River Commons, to avoid eviction, to continue this ministry to which I am called, I need help, I pray for a remedy.

Jan, a participant in our Bible Study said, “I trust we know how fortunate we are to have these studies” about Rev. Brevick’s Holy Spirit-guided preaching of God’s Word.

No grandparent should ever have to say “good-bye” to their grandchild. Very few can understand the deep sadness you’re experiencing now, but may you find comfort daily in the memories of your grandchild and the love and support of these who care…. Thank you for raising such an amazing child in service to our Savior. Your legacy goes on to the next generation. James was an amazing name-sake for your husband. James loved and lived well. He doted and cared for our own precious daughter Megan’s every need and want. He demonstrated Christ by his doing so…Your son shared God’s love in the most difficult circumstance of laying your sweet grandson to rest. We pray others will be drawn through our deep sorrow. Praying for you and holding you dear as an extension of our family.

(The above was taken from a note from James Evan’s Mother-in-law; I have enclosed these notes, which helped me to express my grief.)

Sincerely in Christ,

Mrs. Ruth Sligh Gross

James Evan built rockets for the Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX). Megan, his wife, teaches problem children to talk. James was named using his grandfather’s middle name; Evan means “stone” in Hebrew, was taken from a dear family member, Dr. Evan Crook. There is a verse in Revelation 2 which says Jesus honors those who die in faith as victorious over death. He promises to give them a white stone with a new name written on it that is known only to the one to whom it is given. We all know how James loved to train and compete. Today he is given a new name written on a white stone.

The ancient Greeks had a practice of offering a white stone with the inscribed name of the winner in each Olympic competition. I believe that James Evan has won the race, certainly much sooner that we would have wanted, but in God’s time. His race is over. Yet James Evan has truly become a rock to us today.

Strother Gross’ Eulogy for his son, James Evan Gross

I have heard the stories of how he has touched many lives in ways each of us will carry and always remember. One of the greatest gifts passed down to me from my father and mother was to know and maintain a sense of purpose. My father, for whom James is named, died in his late fifties on return to Africa where he, my Mother, and I had served as medical missionaries. While he is no longer with us, James’ grandmother was always sharing who Grandfather was with James and his siblings. I believe James Evan lives on in us as we each remain true to our purpose. Circumstances in life are never certain, but like a compass pointing to the north, knowing our calling and honoring it is our guide to the path of life. James carried on this tradition. He knew his purpose and he followed it with great confidence and enthusiasm.

James and I had a special bond around sports and the outdoors. Many of the best memories I have of being with him is when we were fishing together. I remember one day we were catching a lot of Crappie in January due to record warm weather. Scores of people came and lined up along the lake dam so you could see who was catching fish, how big they were and how many they had. James quickly mastered the subtle nibbles and racked up easily twice as many as I had caught. He was so proud, hoisting the stringer and showing everyone while bragging, “Most of these were mine” and “I got twice as many as my Dad.” That was how it pretty much went thereafter too, but I didn’t mind letting him shine. As a matter of fact, I loved the special joy and pride I felt bragging on his accomplishments and watching him succeed in life.

From a very young age, James was purpose driven and competitive, always striving for the very best. More importantly, as he matured, he adopted the values of faithfulness and service which I have heard in the stories told by friends and coworkers. When James learned of SpaceX, he showed me an early video that featured the goal of reaching Mars and a simulation of landing rocket stages. I thought to myself, “Well that’s a little out there.” But James got it. He embraced the SpaceX mission and truly loved being a part of it.

I will miss you James, especially when the fall winds blow and our Philadelphia Eagles take the field or anytime fans sing “Fly, Eagles fly, on the road to victory!” I will miss you when it snows, remembering how you nearly split a tree with our family toboggan. I will miss you, James, my son in Spring, on opening day of trout season, and when the big bass are on the bite. When I am down at the shore and look out on the waves crashing the jetty, will I see you casting out a line somewhere out in the distance? I will look for you, I will always look for you, always with my mind’s eye and memories. I will keep your smile, your exuberance, your love for life in my heart.
You brought me joy and made me feel God’s love since the day I first saw you in your mother’s arms. I will never forget you my son, James Evan, my rock.