I was just on the phone with Derek, youngest son of Dr. Edward Bradley. I never wept before the way I do now — not even when my dad passed away.
Dr. Bradley first came to visit us in January of 2007, at the time when I was lost and going in the wrong direction. Unlike our other visitors in the past, he just spent time with me and listened to my babbling. He did not tell me what to do or where to go. Instead, he helped me put all my “guards” down and let me share the vision that the Lord placed in my heart for our people. I felt free in his presence. Back in the States, he called us regularly and asked for our prayer requests. In him, I found a true Christian and a true friend — very rare in this day and age. And that changed my life, and our whole church and mission.
My family grieves. The whole church will grieve when I tell them the sad news. We say “goodbye” to a dear, dear friend — one who was like a father to us. We all looked forward to his personal visits to members’ homes — in the “streets and lanes of the city… the highways and hedges” (Luke 14:21, 23). He sat and listened to our stories. We were all “at home” with him. We will miss him very, very much.
* All photos by Derek Bradley, 2008