Catching Up: A Delightful Visit with Judy Kifer


It’s about the people in your life, you know.

In 1963 I met Judy Moore. A staff member of Campus Crusade for Christ at the University of Texas, she became my primary discipler for the next two years.

During that time she married Frank Kifer, who moved on from campus director to be a regional director. Together they served Christ on U.S. campuses, helped open the ministry in Europe, worked with diplomats and university faculty in Washington, D.C., raised a family and enjoyed their grandchildren.

I am grateful for decades of an ongoing friendship with Frank and Judy.

Last December Frank graduated to Heaven. I was unable to be at his memorial service, but last week I finally made it up to D.C. to visit with Judy.

We had so much catching up to do. We talked and talked and talked. Took a break to sleep. Then picked right up with more catching up the next morning.

Judy asked who else had been a part of my journey with Jesus in those early years. I loved recalling the names of some special women God used to grow me into the woman God created me to be: Dot, Marty, Carol, Judy, Shirley, Edith, Vonette.

Judy shared about the adventure of doing life with Frank, who always kept things lively and interesting. A quiet introvert from a missionary family, Judy discovered she had great people gifts that God used as she interacted with Europeans, diplomats, politicians, professors, always reflecting the beauty of our Lord through her gentle spirit.

Stories of our children and grandchildren kept us laughing. Recalling names of friends we had in common—where are they now?—she knew some and I knew some. Remembering opportunities God gave us to talk about Jesus, to encourage many in their walks with Him.

We talked about lessons learned—especially the priority of the people in our lives. Learning to let go of children. And trusting God in the hard times and the wonderful times—and in the world our grandchildren are inheriting.

Of course, we talked about Frank, his illness, his passing. And a new life for Judy as she learns to live alone. She is grateful she had handled most of the administrative areas of life, but still found all the legal and technical requirements challenging.

And we talked about her grief and grieving at length. God has met her and sustained her. Her son, Kevin, and his family live nearby and attend to her every need.

And she has her “gathering” friends. Every week up to a dozen or more women—many of them widows--gather in her living room to learn from the Bible. They come from different places and different faiths. Some are hesitant at first, but love reading and discussing stories, beginning to grasp that God loves them, seeing that love lived out as they care for each other.

Judy says it been one of her best ministries ever.

Our brief visit was a greater treasure than I thought it would be. And she loved my bitmoji. Her granddaughter has designed one for her.

What about you? Is there someone you want to catch up with?

C2018 Judy Douglass