Serial The Anointed: 22. The Circle Is Complete

Serial The Anointed: 22. The Circle Is Complete April 6, 2024

A silhouette of a man lifting his hands in worship against a backdrop of an evening sky. Next to this man are the words: "The Anointed - a faith-based serial."
Follow along with this thrilling serial about the highs and lows of Pastor John.


Three days after our last meeting, John passes away in his sleep at night. He was only 64 years old. Fortunately, Suzanne and the children were with him, keeping vigil when it happened. I am relieved to know that John was not alone.

Five days later, I stand by his grave. The funeral service was full. Not only his family was there, but also many of the young leaders he mentored in the last years of his life. The attendees of the monthly services for people with intellectual disabilities that he organized with Suzanne were also present in large numbers. Some crying, others laughing. But all brightly dressed with lots of flowers. A few of them even sang a self-composed song for John to the tune of ‘Old MacDonald Had A Farm’. Everyone smiled. It was certainly not an ordinary funeral.

Baskets full of flowers are placed by the grave. Everyone scatters some flowers on the coffin. I have brought a white stone that I found on the beach during our trip in Scotland. The stone was at the spot where John sat the morning after he met Jesus. It feels right to place this stone on the coffin and leave it here.

“I’m startled. The envelope is bursting with money. What’s this?”

During the condolences, Suzanne hands me a large thick envelope. “This is from John for you. But he wanted you to open it at home.” I don’t know what it is, but I thank her and promise to keep in touch. When I get home, Jessie is out with the grandchildren. I pour myself a cup of coffee and sit on the couch to open the envelope. I’m startled. The envelope is bursting with money. What’s this?

I see a note among the money. It’s John’s handwriting. I recognize it instantly. It’s a thank-you letter for our friendship. As I read it, tears flow down my cheeks. John really took the time to write this letter to me. His encouraging and loving words deeply touch me. Under the letter is his name with a PS. “You and Jessie still had something coming from me. See what you want to do with it. Take a world cruise or even go back to Canna. You don’t have to count the money. It’s nine thousand dollars. You know why…”

“You don’t have to count the money. It’s nine thousand dollars. You know why…”

John had drawn a smiley after that. How long must John have saved to give us that nine thousand dollars? Puzzled, I shake my head with a smile. My grandson Marc, who just turned fifteen, walks into the living room and sees his grandpa with tears in his eyes and a smile on his face.

“Grandpa, is everything okay with you? What happened?” Marc sits next to me. “What happened? That’s a good question, young man.” I dry my tears. “It’s quite a long story. I don’t know if you want to hear it all.” Marc doesn’t seem to mind, as he gets comfortable. So, I start my story.

“It began forty-five years ago in the summer of 1989 when I first met John. We were both just eighteen and did a summer outreach with Youth With A Mission in New York City. John and I had to share a room for the entire month of July, and that’s how we got to know each other…”



Do you want to read the whole story from the beginning? Begin at START .


Read some background articles on why Evangelical leaders fall: 



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Matt Vlaardingerbroek, a former seasoned church planter and pastor in Holland’s inner cities, brings Bible stories to life through ventriloquism and magic. He’s authored three books, and founded, providing over 1,500 innovative Sunday school activities worldwide.


About Matt Vlaardingerbroek
At 52, I’ve worn many hats. For 14 years, I have been a church planter in one of Holland’s tough inner-city estates and served as a pastor, deeply immersing myself in community life. I have authored three Christian books and am a regular columnist for the Netherlands’ premier Christian website. A role close to my heart is that of a Christian children’s artist. Using ventriloquism and magic, I breathe life into Bible stories, sharing God’s tales in schools and churches. My creative streak also led to, a rich resource offering over 1,500 Sunday school activities. This platform aids children’s workers, teachers, and parents globally in imparting Biblical lessons to youngsters You can read more about the author here.

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