March 15, 2021

London visitors Brett, Penny and Gary, 1999


We first met and loved Gary Seithel and his wife Barb in the early 1980s.  Gary was from the Lowcountry, a Clemson grad who was studying at Columbia Bible College. Barb was from Atlanta—and they both volunteered with our church youth ministry.  To earn money while at CBC, Gary did house painting—and he painted the interior of our house one summer. 

He and Barb went to London as missionaries, and were thrilled when their daughter Sandy was born, and a couple of years later, son Matthew.  When they made visits to South Carolina, we enjoyed time with them. And then a few years later, Barb was diagnosed with brain cancer.  They made a final trip home while she was undergoing treatment and fighting so hard to live.  Despite all the hopes and prayers, she died and was buried in England.  Gary was determined to continue their work in England.

When a couple from Barb’s home church in Atlanta came to London to visit their single daughter Penny who was working there, they looked Gary up. Penny soon fell in love with Gary and his two little ones, and in 1993, they were married.  A couple of years later, they had a son Brett and the following year, Nathan.  

Their family and ministry in London have thrived for these past 27 years.  All four children are now married and live in England, Sandy has two children and Matthew one so far.  Yesterday was “Mothering Day” in the United Kingdom, and Penny was lovingly praised by all four of their beloved children.

Sandy and Matthew

These photos are from about 1999 when they spent a few days with us in Columbia.  Little Brett and Nathan were fascinated when the ducks from our “lake” wandered up to the front yard!  Matthew caught a fish—and Sandy played the piano for us.  An ocean apart—still close friends.

Brett and Nathan with the ducks

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