I am blessed! I have Christian grandfathers and grandmothers on both sides of my family! My mother’s father, Grampa Julius Rachinski, was a German pastor who pioneered a number of churches across Canada. He was a carpenter by trade who loved to teach people about Jesus. As a result, on the Rachinski side of the family, there are a number of pastors and music pastors.
It is so great to have a Christian heritage. It was wonderful to have been brought up by parents who had Christian principles and morals. Parents who knew the importance of regular church attendance and prayer. Christians are not always perfect but they do understand God’s love and grace.
Grampa Rachinski was also a builder. He built churches and houses. When he was ninety years old, he built the house that his wife still lives in. When he was in his eighties he was still teaching Bible classes at the church he pioneered in East Vancouver. My only regret with Grampa Rachinski is that I never heard him preach. He only preached in German and I only understood English. I recently discovered that Grampa Rachinski knew five languages: Russian, Ukraine, Polish, German and English.
I also recently had a long conversation with my mother about Grandma Rachinski. I found out that she was a very hard working woman who had survived work camps in Siberia. She was a very innovative with the little she had. She would get used clothing and undo the seams and remake the clothes for her children. My favourite memories of her include her tasty German Sunday lunches with her great cabbage roles and salads.
I also have many fond memories of my Grampa Cole. Grampa Cole was the head butcher at Woodwards (an old Canadian Department Store). I remember many great Sunday lunches after church. Grampa (David Levi) Cole knew how to do a roast dinner. He had been a cook in the Canadian army and we were blessed to have great meals whenever we visited his house. He also had a great garden at the back of his Richmond house. I can still remember the fresh peas, carrots and corn on the cob. So, so.. good!!
All my grandparents were great people but I was closest to my Grandma Cole. I love what my cousin Velma Taylor said about her: “We had the best Grandma in the world. Some people ask “what would Jesus do?” and I find myself asking “what would Grandma do?”….cause she loved Jesus.”
Another cousin, David Ferencz, has an awesome story about Grandma’s last day on earth: “A few hours before Grandma passed away, she called me. She said she was feeling a little more tired lately. I said I would probably be out to see her Sunday afternoon and said something to the effect ‘don’t be sad or lonely.’ But Grandma replied, “Oh I am so happy and blessed I can hear the angels singing right now” I said good bye and “I love you Grandma’ one last time…. David later said, “I wouldn’t have made it this far without her.”
Here is Grandma Cole with some of her great-grandkids!
There are now five generations on both sides of the family. It’s great to see pastors, musicians, missionaries, TV hosts, successful Christian business men and other godly men and woman on both sides. We were not a perfect family but we are a family that loves God and His love for us always seems to bring us back to the centre.
Psalms 112:1-3 “Blessed are those who fear the Lord, who find great delight in His commands. Their children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in their houses, and their righteousness endures forever.”
I thank the Lord for my Christian heritage.