At the funeral many expressed their grief for the family by slipping Hilda money. Every year on October 29 Hilda would sit her girls down and tell them about their father. In the same way the people of Israel celebrated passover every year so that each generation would remember the Lord's protection and deliverance long after they begged Him to stop talking to them directly, Hilda told the girls about their father's love for them, about how he would play his trumpet to draw people to their Bible Center so they could understand their Heavenly Father's love for them. She told them about his glimpse of heaven, about how they counted up the gifts from Jimmy's funeral on their bed, and about it all adding up to $600. It was exactly what they needed to escape debt!
When my brother Bob and I came along, Grandma would tell us those stories, too. There were many times that she would tell us how the Lord would guide her by providing an exact amount needed for a ministry endeavor to which she felt called, and that intimate language she shared with the Lord was first spoken and understood at her husband’s funeral.
When she was only three years old, Jeri shared these amazing truths on Moody Bible Institute's radio program. Hilda and Jimmy had met while students at Moody. Cliff Miller had attended the school at the same time, but they hadn't known each other well. The station received numerous calls from people who had given their lives to the Lord because of the young evangelist.
Jimmy's father, a retired minister, was invited to shepherd the small congregation of the Bible Center in his son's absence, but on his first Sunday he told them that he knew of a young Moody Bible Institute graduate who was working on his masters degree: He recommended Cliff Miller to fill the pulpit as an interim preacher.
Meanwhile Hilda and the girls went to live with their widowed grandfather. A little over three years later he remarried, and Hilda thought it wise to re-empty her father's nest. She found a place back in Charleston. She was told about the young man now preaching at the Bible Center.
I was speaking... one Sunday morning early in 1946 when a young woman with two little girls came through the front door. After the service I went to the door to greet people. One of the little girls (Geraldine) grabbed my leg and announced to her embarrassed widowed mother that she wanted a daddy, too! Well Geri* probably started something..."So on September 28, 1946, Cliff married the family, fulfilling the promise the Lord had made to Jimmy.