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A Mighty Redwood has Fallen – and Risen!

Bola, glorifying God through her musicMy tears flow. Don and I hold hands, praying. Our friend Bola Taylor passed into the arms of Jesus at 3:46 Sunday morning, Tokyo time. I wrote about Bola as one of the mighty redwoods in my life in an earlier blogpost at

Once, when Bola and Ken stayed in our guest house, my mother was visiting. I didn’t know Bola well yet. But as Mom and I walked on the driveway, Bola stepped out onto the deck, waving.

I looked up. “Bola, this is my mother, Helen.”

“Hi Mom,” was Bola’s immediate response. And “Mom” it was from then on.

Bola brought gifts. I have several beautiful pieces of Japanese cloth mounted and framed. Before she and Ken came, it was always “I love shopping for other people. What are your favorite colors? Do you like cloth? Paper? …” And somehow, she thought Don looked like a “Simba,” which became her nickname for him. We loved visiting with Bola and Ken, just having them around, enjoying their passion for Jesus and for the people of Japan to whom they ministered.

Colorful, vibrant, crazy in love with Jesus, funny. According to Ken, Bola “prepared us well when she mentioned not to worry because she was only taking an earlier flight (first class) to heaven and will be reserving a seat for us!”

We will miss you, Bola. But the grave is not the end. While this beautiful, loving redwood has taken flight, she has been lifted up to the heavenlies, where I’m sure she is praising her Lord with every fiber of her being.

The Apostle Paul assured us when he said, “And regarding the question, friends, that has come up about what happens to those already dead and buried, we don’t want you in the dark any longer. First off, you must not carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word. Since Jesus died and broke loose from the grave, God will most certainly bring back to life those who died in Jesus.” I Thess 4:13-14, The Message.

See you soon, dear friend.


  1. Glenyce says:

    We both are going through such sadness together, we share a lot of together things. My dearest friend Chris Wing-Quay’s youngest brother Alan 51 years of age lay down on the couch Sunday night 11 October and went to sleep. Such a shock for us all. He leaves a wife who herself is unwell and an 8 year old daughter. No report yet from the coroner. He is being farewelled tomorrow.
    Her 82 year old mother who is a Christian is very fragile but she has her faith. It has unwavered she is a remarkable lady and is sustaining a comforting the rest of the family. Thank you for sharing. xx

    1. carolnl says:

      Glenyce, I’m so sorry to hear of Chris’s loss (and yours). You’ve mentioned Chris often on FB and I’m sure you are grieving, not only for your own loss, but for your friend’s. It’s hard to see our friends hurting. I’m grateful Chris’ mother’s faith in Christ is helping sustain and comfort the rest of the family too. We do have a lot of parallel experiences, don’t we. I’m grateful for your friendship. May God be with you and comfort you even as you help comfort Chris. Love to you and Keith.

  2. MarJean Peters says:

    What a beautiful tribute to an obviously beautiful person!

    1. carolnl says:

      Thanks Marjean. She is beautiful!!

  3. Karen O'Connor says:

    Carol, what a lovely tribute to our friend Bola. Thank you for honoring her memory with such lovely details.

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