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Finish Well
April 9, 2005

Dear Friends:

This week three people passed into eternity. One, a District Judge in south Texas, resigned from his judicial position, left the courthouse, and a few hours later ended his own life. The FBI had been conducting an investigation into activities at the Hidalgo (McAllen) Courthouse for some time and the courthouse buzz had been that something big was going to happen this week.

The other two were missionaries working for Wycliffe Bible Translators. Richard Hicks and his wife Charlene had been working for about 9 years translating the Bible into the Wapishana language spoken by an indigenous tribe in the border region between Brazil and Guyana. The couple's house had been set on fire and Richard's body was burnt. His wife's body was found nearby. She bore visible signs of violence. The local police claim robbery was the motive and have a suspect. The FBI has sent down a team to help investigate. It is uncertain if the couple's translation work will be continued.

Three deaths. All tragic. All left unfinished work behind. I believe I had met the Judge in question and grieve for his family and for the fact that his life ended in such a fashion. Most Judges have noble aspirations when they ascend to the bench. Few have plans to deliberately conduct themselves corruptly or shamefully. Unfortunately unwise choices are sometimes made. Choices that lead to FBI investigations, criminal trials, imprisonment, and sometimes death.

While I have known several translators from Wycliffe, I don't think I had ever met Richard or his wife. If robbery truly was the motive for their deaths, what an impact this one act of violence will have on the lives of so many people. An entire translation delayed or possibly never completed. But what a comparison in their deaths. One did not finish well. His death is surrounded with suspicion and shame. His wife and children will bear that shame and suffer under it for many years. It will affect his children in ways that he never dreamed. The other two did finish well. Their work may be unfinished, and their relatives will grieve at the untimely deaths, but they will not suffer from shame. Richard and his wife have gone home to be with their Father. Their portion of the work is done. They have finished well.

What a reminder for all of us to strive to finish well......we never know when we are.

Judge Paul Enlow

p.s. Laura & I just returned from Fort Hood after spending the day with the men the Metroplex Rep. Women had "adopted" while the men were in Iraq providing air support for the Army. We had a wonderful day touring Fort Hood, meeting the men and their families, sharing a picnic with them, and even using some of their advanced sim-tech weapons. It was truly a joy to spend time with these folks, knowing the sacrifices that they had made, and becoming a part of their lives, even if only for a day.

Upon our arrival home, I learned that there is a sequel to the Schiavo case being played out in Georgia. The facts are stunning, and have the potential of murder charges being brought. Click on the link below to access the story.

Thank you John Rentz for making me aware of this situation.

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