On Thursday, July 23, 2020, my Pops, Robert Dubois, entered into Jesus’ presence. He had suffered for several years with COPD, with frequent flare-ups and hospitalizations, and he had gotten to the point that he had to be on supplemental oxygen. But he’d been feeling pretty good for several weeks. We talked to him on Sunday, and he sounded strong and was joking around with us. When Shelia, the director of the Prison Ministry and his right-hand everything (and my “adopted” sister), stopped by to pick him up and drive him to a meeting, she found him there in his chair. He apparently passed away around 8:00 this morning, peacefully and unexpectedly.
It left me heartbroken in ways I couldn’t have imagined just a few years ago. Here are some of my thoughts that I wrote for his memorial service.
To me, Robert Dubois was simply, “Pops”. He was so much more than a “stepfather” and over the last 8 years, I have grown to love him more than I would have ever thought possible.
Our relationship history was rocky, to say the least. But I never want to focus or visit that past again. Because it is just that – past. Instead, the relationship that Pops and I had was a shining testament to God’s healing power and restoration.
Over the years, Pops blessed my life in countless ways. I wish I had been able to realize that sooner, but praise God, I did finally recognize just how great of a blessing he was. His faith in God, his generosity, his sense of humor, his kindness and goodness, the stellar care and love that he bestowed on my mom, his acts of service, his commitment to guiding and ministering to prisoners…all these qualities and so many more are just a few of the reasons that I have grown to love him like I never thought possible. He taught me so much about forgiveness and new beginnings.
Pops, my life is so much richer because you were in it. Thank you for reflecting on Jesus’ love to your world. I love you so much, and I am so going to miss you. I can rejoice because you are with Jesus now, free from all sickness, and now you’re reunited with the love of your life – my momma. But my heart grieves for the emptiness left behind. I can only hope to serve and honor God as much as you did.
I know you were welcomed home with angels singing and our Savior welcoming you with the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Next to Jesus and my mom, Pops biggest passion in life was serving Jesus in the prisons of Texas. He and my late mom, Audrey K. Dubois, were faithful every week with going into these prisons and sharing Jesus.
And their service produced much fruit. Many prisoners have given their lives to Jesus and have experienced the life-changing power of the blood of Jesus. Only once did I have the privilege of going into a prison with Pops and my mom, and all I can say is that God blessed my socks right off!
These men, whom I had never met came up to me, welcoming me and blessing me. I was Mama Audrey’s and Papa Robert’s son; therefore, I was loved. I’ve never again experienced that kind of blessing that I did that night.
God was obviously working through Robert and my mom as they served these men and women in the Texas prisons and jails where they ministered. Lives were changed, souls were redeemed, and God was glorified. And upon release from prison, most of these folks continue to live for Jesus.
But the truth is that many have a real struggle when they enter the free world again. Many years ago, God gave Robert and my mom a vision for a ranch that would help prisoners upon their release. It would offer a place to live, intense discipleship, skill training, and re-acclimation to freedom.
Recently that vision has finally come to life and has been put in motion with the Town of Hope. Pops was more excited about this than almost anything ever. God is working and making the Town of Hope a reality.
How fitting would it be if Pops homegoing was the final push needed to reach the Town of Hope funding goal? I can not think of any higher way to honor my Pops – and my mom – than to complete the fundraising for the Town of Hope, allowing it to become the reality that Robert and Audrey Dubois dreamed of.
It is my fervent wish and prayer that everyone who desires to remember my Pops and honor him in the best way possible visit the Hope For ALL In Jesus website and donate something to make the Town of Hope become a reality.
I know Pops is in heaven, dancing unto the Lord and praising God like he never imagined, but I can’t help but think that if we can make the Town of Hope happen, that dancing and praising will be kicked up another notch.