It was with deep sadness that we heard the news that Christine Lange, wife of Stuart Lange, had passed away last Friday night.
Stuart is a current NZ Christian Network board member, a lecturer at Laidlaw College, minister at Massey Presbyterian church, and increasingly well known for producing the Te Rongopai DVD.
Christine will be known to many people involved with the Network, in addition to all those who knew her through Laidlaw and the church and other circles.
Although I only met Christine personally a few times, I remember her as a very warm, gracious person, always smiling, despite the fact that for most of that time she was living with the knowledge of the cancer in her body.
From the first time we met she always addressed me by name, and she was always interested in what I was doing and how the Christian Network was going.
Given the deteriorating state of her health it was a huge joy to see Christine at Laidlaw College for the launch of the Te Rongopai DVD in March this year, and to see the depth of love and affection that people had towards her. Although she was unwell, Stuart often spoke of the support he received from Christine during the period (2012-2014) that he was working on the script and production of the DVD.
On behalf of the Board, Leaders, and Members of the Network, we would like to express our deepest sympathies to Stuart and the Family, and assure them of our prayers and any support we can offer.
The following note was sent out by Stuart Lange
Last night, after so many years of grace and courage in the face of very serious illness, our much-cherished Christine went to be with the Lord.
Following five weeks in hospital, Christine was so pleased to be once again at home. Most days she spent out in the family room, enjoying time with family and also a few friends. During those nine days her strength and mobility were gradually diminishing. A project she was able to do in that time was to record over twenty children’s Bible stories, primarily for her future grandchildren (Christine was excellent at reading aloud, with a lovely voice and tone, and very natural expression). She completed that on Thursday. On Friday she did not feel well, and stayed in bed. That was the only day she was confined to bed. About 5 p.m. it became apparent that her life here was coming to an end. The family were all on hand, and at 11 p.m. she passed away.
Christine was a very lovely person, full of warmth, faith, hope, love, sparkle and fun. It has been a delight, and an immense blessing, to be married to her for nearly thirty-five years. From start to finish, she captivated me. Christine also deeply loved our four sons, and poured so much into them. Their sturdy Christian faith and character is a fitting reflection of that. We will all miss her very deeply. So will many others, in church and elsewhere. In her own unique way, Christine brought joy, encouragement, and inspiration to many people.
The years of Christine’s illness have by no means been continuous suffering. Along the way, there have been countless good times. But the last six weeks have been increasingly challenging. Even so, Christine has had relatively little pain. We are relieved, though, that Christine’s worsening physical troubles are finally over, and that she has now entered into that realm of God where there is no suffering, and where all things will be made new in Christ.
Christine has been a firm believer in Christ since middle childhood. As the end of her life approached she was in no doubt that she was going to be with the Lord, and that she would also enjoy fellowship with those who have gone before. One scripture verse that sums up both Christine’s life among us and her life with God in eternity is Psalm 23:6: “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever”. Those were also words which she heard again last night.
A few weeks ago Christine wrote down her thoughts about a service of thanksgiving to God. That service will be held next Saturday (23 August), at Massey Presbyterian Church, at a time still to be decided.
Our thanks to all who have given wonderful support, in prayer, in messages, in visits, and in practical help.
To God be the glory, Stuart, and our sons René, Richie, Chris, and Jono (and daughters-in-law Caitrin, Kathy, and Emily)