Al Geiser remembered at service Kidronby Sherah-Leigh Gerber
Gray skies sputtered rain into the muggy Ohio afternoon as friends and family gathered for the memorial service for Alfred Geiser on Aug. 5. The organist played "When Peace Like a River" as more than 500 people filled the pews at Kidron (Ohio) Mennonite Church.
The table at Geiser's memorial service on Aug. 5. Photo by Sherah-Leigh Gerber.
Laughter mingled with sniffles and tears as Geiser's life was remembered through reflection and song. Ruth Steiner, sister of Al, and church friend, Steve Steiner, summarized Geiser's life and work which included multiple service assignments through Mennonite Central Committee and his more recent Mission Network assignment, starting and running his own business in the Kidron community, and a love of motorcycle travel.
Geiser's wife, Gladys, shared stories from their life and focused on their call to ministry in Afghanistan.
"I don't know why God allowed this to happen," she said. "But I will move on. … I will miss you Al, and I will remember."
Their children, Franklin and Andrea, also shared memories. Missionary friends Doug and Laura Snyder along with Rod and Lucy Lehman reflected on their friendship with Al and Gladys and the impact of the Geisers' ministry, which was faith in action through service.
Pastors Carl Wiebe and Lydell Steiner led the service of remembrance, which focused on Scriptures significant to Al. They highlighted the story of the Good Samaritan from Luke 10 as a passage Al frequently used when sharing about his faith with those he worked with in Afghanistan.
On July 22, Al, his business partner, Al Shukur, and a young employee were shot and killed while traveling to a repair job in the Parwan province in Afghanistan. Al had been working in the region in a variety of capacities for more than a decade.
Since 2005, Al and Al Shukur had been making turbines for microhydro projects. These men were credited with bringing electricity to more than 100 rural villages.
Sherah-Leigh Gerber serves as Coordinator of Volunteers for Ohio Conference. She lives with her husband and daughter in Apple Creek, Ohio. They attend Kidron Mennonite Church.
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