Pastor's wife records life journey in new book

Saturday, August 17, 2002

It's taken some time to realize it, but Opal Proffer Eaker knows that God has been guiding her life through the ups and downs.

The wife of a former pastor, Eaker recently completed a book about her family's faith journey. She chronicles the emotions and confusion she experienced while trying to find God's will in her life.

The book is titled "Please God, are we almost there?" and tells about the family's journey in ministry in Illinois and Missouri.

Eaker will be signing copies of her book from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. today at The Way Books and Gifts in Jackson, Mo. The book also is available at The Meat Shop in Cape Girardeau.

Eaker said she wants readers to be encouraged by the book. "I want them to realize that things happen to each of us, that even though they are our unique experiences we go through the same things."

Even though temptations arise and times are trying, there is victory, she said. "There are opportunities for really seeing God work in our lives."

Eaker and her husband, Webster, have now retired from preaching though they do occasionally lead some weekend seminars at area churches. They attend Father's Arms Fellowship in Scott City, Mo.

Recording events

During the past 20 years of their lives, Eaker has been recording events and collecting them for the book. She never really intended to write, but knew that some things needed to be recorded.

After writing a collection of recipes for her daughter and daughter-in-law, she began working on her latest book. It took her two years to write, but she didn't work on it continuously.

Eaker said some days it was hard to stop writing. On a few occasions, she would simply stare at the computer screen until words came.

Eaker said it took the span of her life to collect the words and experiences for the book, and even that was part of God's plan.

"It took that time for the perspective," she said.

At one point in her life, Eaker said she questioned whether or not she'd actually understood God's plan. Her husband had accepted a job as a pastor in Illinois and the children had easily settled into a new home, but she wasn't feeling at ease. She had plenty of work to do in the church but nothing felt just right.

She began to pray and was distracted by the words garlic and leeks. She prayed two more times and again the words drifted into her thoughts. She knew then that God was sending her a message. She went to her Bible and found a reference to the Israelites wandering in the desert, complaining about the manna and lamenting that they didn't have garlic or leeks.

"I knew it meant that the good things we'd had before weren't going to be denied but that things were going to be better. We had to realize it was all God's provision."

That experience showed Eaker that there is more to learn about God.

The book ends with Eaker writing that her life is dedicated to God and will be "a continual following so that I may know him."

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