Saturday, May 9, 2009
A few years ago a man swooped into our lives that forever changed us. This was Deiter Jacob. He was an amazing person that we had the great honor of getting close to.
Deiter was born and raised in Nazi Germany and even worked for the KGB. He hated the regime and saw the horrors of it and wanted out. He had an unbelievable story. After trying to escape the country several times, he was finally successful by diving over a train track (I think), over a steep hill, rolling down it into West Germany all while guns were firing at him overhead.
I don't know all the details of the rest of his life, but I do know that it was hard. As an elderly man he came to know and love Christ. It is an amazing testimony to the dramatic change God can do in a hard-hearted, cynical, grouch of a man and turn him into a tender, loving, passionate brother in Christ. He fell in love with Ann after meeting on a hiking trail and were married late in life.
Several years ago we were in a small group Discipleship class with Deiter and Ann. It was a great time of accountability and tons of questions and discussion. Deiter was never one to be without words and he could outlast anyone in a conversation. That's because his German was still broken enough that you had to really concentrate on his words! LOL! He'd always end it with a squeeze on the arm and a big smile and a comment about how much he loved you.
He loved children so much and our children adored him. He taught them all kinds of things about hiking and plants and tools and loved to snuggle and stroke their heads. I had to constantly remind the boys not to wrestle with him since Deiter would never say no to a good wrestle. I don't think he liked to be reminded of his age and limitations!
Unfortunately, the day after he became a citizen, he had a stroke that left him without much ability to communicate or move. It was so hard for such a strong man to be without any control. We truly were blessed the times we were able to go visit him and see his old smile and mischeiviousness flare back up.
He went to be with the Lord, and we miss him dearly. Yet, I am so glad to know we'll be seeing him again someday.