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Thursday, February 15, 2018

My Memories of Fred Thielke

On this deeply foggy evening, I am sitting back and going through all of my old photo albums to gather a few precious photos of the Fred Thielke I knew and loved.  I thought I would share them with you... and maybe if you want to leave comments at the bottom of this blog, others can also see how their world was affected by this energetic, fun-loving, adventurous friend of ours!
While at missions orientation last week, we had a workshop on missionary kids (MK's) and third culture kids (TCK) and how intertwined their lives are in regards to culture, language, thinking, and relationships.  I have found that even though I do not have children of my own, some MK's have truly found their way into my heart.  Fred Thielke is one of those.  
When I was growing up, Fred's Dad was my senior pastor, and I remember going to their house to study the catechism, while Fred ran around in diapers and learned to talk.  I guess that means, I have really known this man my whole life, and so when I heard the news the other day of his passing, I broke down and cried.  
Fred Thielke has been living in Mexico for the past few years, working with the US Embassy there.  Earlier this week he was climbing with a friend, on the highest mountain in Mexico - the Pico de Orizaba.  Apparently he fell, and was in and out of consiousness while the Mexico rescue teams tried to evacuate him in bad weather conditions.  Sad to say, he didn't survive the accident.  My heart is sad... and it bleeds for his family.
Here are a few shots of our time together over the years.
From 2001-2004 I worked in the Philippines... and was blessed to work alongside the Thielke family for two of those years.
I joined the Theilke family for a holiday in Thailand;
Fred and I hung out a lot during our time there.

He makes friends with everyone.  :)

I think Fred learned to hug lots from the Filipino culture that so deeply shaped his life.  

Fred always cherished adventure and creation.

We were both in the bridal party for good friends in Manila.

He loved his brothers!

He was so helpful... a great leader... I saw that while leading
a Summer Missions Program in Tacloban city.

Hard working and full of smiles!

Fred was like family to me... my little brother!
A missionary nephew.

Many people loved hanging out with him.

He always seemed fearless!

Oh Fred!

Me and my brothers...
I mean... Fred and his brothers - Tim and Matt

Family dinner in India

A tight trio

So affectionate.  :)

He cherished his cousins too.

Hanging out... 

He made my day when he traveled two hours to come hear
me share stories of serving in the Philippines.

Fred with his extended family in Canada
I don't know what more to say.  He was so full of life.  He loved deeply.  Explored completely.  And will be missed by so many.

There will be a memorial service for Fred Thielke on March 3, 2018 at Community CRC in Kitchener, ON, Canada.
Dwayne, Gladys, Tim, and Matt Thielke... I am praying for and with you!

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