Our move to Branson, Missouri occurred in November, 2005, and Cathy and I bought a new home in the Branson North subdivision, a short 5 minute drive from the hospital. For the first time in our married life I was regularly able to have lunch at home with her. Our home was large enough to accommodate all of our family for weekend visits and special holidays since we were anticipating lots of visits to such a fun town!
The Wound Care Clinic position was ideal for me at this stage in my professional life, and fortunately all the nurses working there were believers. With the administration’s permission we had a 10 minute daily devotion and prayer time for our patients at the beginning of each clinic, and we were able to pray with many of our patients. Some were led to a faith in Christ while being treated in the clinic.
Within 2 years of living in Branson God opened the door for founding of a new ministry, The Free Medical Clinic of the Ozarks in 2008. Cathy and I believe this clinic is the supernatural fulfillment of the vision He had placed in our hearts in 1999 when He directed us to move to Florida to open the church medical clinic at the First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks. I have written about our experiences in the 5 part blog; The Free Medical Clinic of the Ozarks, Nov. 2012. It was exciting for Cathy and me to be involved in such a ministry, and we initially began working together as chaplains praying with and encouraging people coming to the clinic for free medical care.
Because Mary Kay and Dave were members of First Baptist Church Branson we didn’t look for another church home but sank our roots into the ministry there and finding perhaps the best church we had ever experienced. We were able to begin a younger couples Sunday school class which grew in numbers very quickly. I was fortunate to begin a new teaching ministry there and soon added 2 other Godly men, Hebo Hall and Dr. Marvin Schoenecke to assist in teaching. Under the pastorate of Neil Franks, FBC Branson grew into the largest Baptist church in Taney County. At my retirement from medical practice in November 2011, Pastor Franks invited me to join the ministerial staff in charge of new member outreach and marriage mentoring. Cathy and I continued our mentoring of young married couples along with 12 other couples committed as mentors for the ministry.
One of the highlights of our life in Branson occurred in July, 2015 when Cathy and others organized and we had the 2nd ever Moore Family Reunion in Branson. The only other reunion of our branch of the Moore Family occurred in El Dorado in 1972, just 1 year after we moved there. Our reunion in Branson was over the 4th of July weekend and was a wonderful success. In attendance were all of our children and grandchildren, most of brother Berry Lee and wife LaNell’s children and grandchildren, and sister Marilyn, husband George and as many of their children and grandchildren as were able to attend. It was so much fun being all together finally, and everyone agreed to not wait another 45 years before having the 3rd reunion!
The year 2016 became a physically difficult year for me because of increasing problems with coronary artery disease. Despite years of weight control and a regular exercise program, the genetic factor of heart disease in the Moore family began taking a toll on me. Seeking cardiac care in Fayetteville with a cardiologist Dr. David Churchill whom I knew to be excellent, the path led to an open heart procedure and triple bypass operation on December 1, 2016 in Fayetteville by Dr. James Counce. The operation was successful with no post-operative complications, but the recovery has been slower than expected and marked with persistent problems with atrial fibrillation. As of this writing I am still awaiting another procedure to control the irregular heart rate which keeps me weakened and unable to exercise as before.
Throughout the years following my retirement from medical practice in 2011, Cathy and I have drawn closer and more dependent on each other. During the initial recovery phase of my heart procedure when I was severely disabled, Cathy provided countless hours of care and support without complaint and with a cheerful spirit. She has shown me over and over what it means to be selfless and poured-out in loving one’s spouse, and this experience has been instrumental in our encouragement of the married couples in our ministry at First Baptist. We are convinced the life lessons God is teaching us now can become life-changing for others.
When I had the words “Thee I Love” inscribed in Cathy’s wedding band 52 years ago I had no idea how those words would be lived out. At the time of our marriage I just knew I was committed to her for life and she was committed to me. We have certainly had a few rough spots in the journey, but there never was a time either of us believed our union was not made in heaven. When we surrendered ourselves to the Lord Jesus that evening in Dallas in August, 1977 we didn’t know how the Lord was going to use us going forward together, but were very sure He was.
Over the past 52 years Cathy and I have been able to accumulate some things we treasure from our life together, but all these things pale in light of our real earthly treasures, our children and grandchildren. What a joy to know they are all saved and living lives which are pleasing to our Lord. Our son John Aaron and wife Gina live in El Dorado, Arkansas along with their two sons, Brady and Landon. Their oldest son, Drew has completed college as a mechanical engineer and works in Ruston, Louisiana. He and his fiance, Emily Chandler will be married in June, 2018 when she completes her college studies at Louisiana Tech. Our older daughter Mary Kay and husband Dave Janke live in Branson, Missouri with their two daughters, Rebecca and Sara Beth. Our younger daughter Ginny and husband, John Luther live in Fayetteville, Arkansas with their two children, Claire and Nathan. They are all the delights of our hearts, and Cathy and I are so blessed!
I really love the position God has placed us in for now and probably for the remainder of the journey, and to add a few words to one of my baseball hero’s, Lou Gehrig in the speech at his retirement, “Today I consider myself the luckiest (most blessed) man on the face of the earth (because of the Lord Jesus and Cathy).