Dear Family and Friends,
Thank you so much for your love and support over the years, and especially in these past few months. As many of you are already aware, my beloved Paulette passed away on July 27 at the Rosedale Hospice in Calgary, Alberta. Our last update had mentioned that we were hoping to get her into Rosedale, and we were so blessed that her last two months were spent in such a beautiful, caring space. The staff went above and beyond to care for Paulette and our family, becoming a real support for us all. From spa-like baths to bird feeders right on her window so that she could enjoy the birds up close, she truly was nurtured and treated like a queen. She loved spending time in their beautiful chapel, surrounded by the incredible floor-to-ceiling stained glass windows. Her room was decorated with all of her favourite art of hers, Mike & Keeley's and the grandkids, and everyone who entered the room said it was "brimming with life" right up until the end. She was able to have incredible, life-changing conversations with many of the staff, who joined us in mourning her passing.
Myself, Clancey, Keeley and her husband Mike were able to be with Paulette the last day in person, and we were joined by Shahndi and her family and Stryker and his family via video chat. How wonderful to be able to be together as a family in such a hard time.
Through our sadness however, we are truly rejoicing that Paulette is now home with her heavenly Father, fully healed, no longer suffering or in pain.
Our family gathered yesterday, once again in person and via video, to remember Paulette and fulfill her wishes of her ashes being scattered in the mountains. I hope to hold a memorial at some point when more of us can travel without restriction to be together.
I will be continuing the work in Kenya, as long as I am able to from afar. The staff is continuing to run the Bible school and facilitate classes, and the satellite schools are going strong. As tributes from students both present and past come in for Paulette, I'm reminded again of how important the work is that God lead us to start in Kenya. The lives that have been changed, and the communities impacted by the love of God and the truth of the Word has extended beyond what we could have ever imagined. Thank you for your continued support in keeping the vision alive.
Love you all,
Bob & Family
Paulette's Obituary, for those who haven't read it:
Paulette Jean (Riches) McNeal of East Africa and Canada, beloved wife of Robert G. McNeal, went to be with the Lord on Tuesday, July 27th at 6:50 pm in Calgary, Alberta, surrounded by family - both present and online, in the compassionate care of the staff at Rosedale Hospice.Her crazy bunch (family) anticipate the day they can be joyfully reunited: her loving husband Bob with their children and grandchildren;
Paulette was blessed to be called Mom by many, both young and old, in Canada, Kenya, U.S., Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, and South Sudan.
Paulette's life of adventure began in Leamington Ontario on February 6th, 1946, and shortly took her to Oliver, BC (spending part of the train ride on a soldier's knee, as the story goes). She had many volumes of adventures ranging from a plane crash in the North West Territories, teaching in Inuvik, life in Osoyoos and Clearwater, to meeting Bob, the love of her life, and briefly settling down in Cranbrook. Her story took a dramatic turn in 1978 when she met Jesus. This started a whole new chapter for her and Bob leading them to Mexico, Lima, and Taranganya where she found her calling and life purpose sharing her faith and teaching any and all who needed it.
Paulette's greatest pleasure was teaching, among others, her Family Life and English courses in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. She was always willing to give a tea, a soda, some first aid, a conversation, advice, or helpful counsel to anyone in need - or to shoo away a stray cow, or step in with authority to aid in times of crisis. Like when Bob invited 2,500 surprise guests for dinner and she found a way to make it work. If you were one of the many who were blessed to know her, you understand how, in Bob's words, "life with Paulette was never boring!"
Through this whole adventure, she was always up to her jokes, collecting dried lizards to send to friends (adorned with rhinestones of course), creating drawings to illustrate life, and keeping us all laughing. Her art has always given us insight into her perspective of life and nature, her unique style and expression always made us laugh, but never louder or harder than she did. She was always the first to laugh at her own jokes and punchlines, and never missed a beat when we didn't get the joke.
Her poetry and art also brought her visions and conversations with God to life and allowed us all to learn more about His love and to consider truths we would have never otherwise known.
There are so many more stories, jokes, memories, and details than we could ever write. There are many friends who are as close as family, spiritual children, and countless lives she has touched that join us in missing and remembering her. Those of you that knew Paulette know that this has left out much of her story, but we hope it has brought to mind some fond memories to cherish. Please remember the laughter, the tears, the lessons and learnings we all shared with her. We, her family, are always ready to talk and remember stories about her so feel free to call or write.
To remember Paulette, in lieu of flowers, you may contribute to her and Bob's ongoing life work in Kenya, or you may bless those who blessed her at the Rosedale Hospice. Due to current situations, we are hoping to hold a memorial at a time and place that will be more accommodating.
Ongoing work in Kenya - https://canadahelps.org/en/charities/elim-fellowship-canada - select Bob & Paulette McNeal
Rosedale Hospice - https://hospicecalgary.ca
To remember the ministry financially
Or by mail in Canada
379 Golf Road R.R. #6,
Brantford, ON Canada N3T 5L8
For tax receipts:
cheques payable to "ELIM FELLOWSHIP"
attach a note "For Bob McNeal"
Or by mail in the US
1703 Dalton Rd.,
Lima NY, USA 14485-9516
For tax receipts:
cheques payable to "ELIM FELLOWSHIP"
attach a note "preferred for the ministry of Bob McNeal"
Greeting of the most Christmas kind! It's the season and we celebrate the child who came to give us all new life!
This is a brief report: HUGE THANKS FOR ALL THE PRAYERS FOR BOB'S TRIP TO KENYA! and yes, I shouted because he said it's the best trip ever! The travel, the friends, the days at the mission went very well.
The graduation was exciting, students from Tanzania and Kenya have been commissioned and sent into the harvest of souls! 23 graduated, two of whom received their bachelor of theology degrees. The testimonies of their struggles to complete the years required are a tribute to their desire to serve God!
This is very short and sweet. We are thankful for the ongoing support and love you all have shown to this work. God bless you all.
And a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
May the Light of the world, Jesus our Savior, be brighter and brighter in your life in the coming year!..... Bob and Paulette