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Lambert Royal – a great husband, father & friend

The Royal family has played an integral role in AIM’s history. Kristina was one of the first staff members to join us after we moved to Gainesville in 1994. And over the years, her sister Joanna and her parents, Lambert and Jackie Royal joined us as well. When Lambert passed away three days ago, …
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
The Royal family has played an integral role in AIM’s history. Kristina was one of the first staff members to join us after we moved to Gainesville in 1994. And over the years, her sister Joanna and her parents, Lambert and Jackie Royal joined us as well. When Lambert passed away three days ago, he left a large hole in many hearts. Here are some things we remember about him:
He always had a smile, a hug and words of encouragement to give.
 
He continually strove to trust and honor God – in the midst of terrible trials that would shake the best of us, he spoke well of the Lord and trusted Him with his life and family. it was always comforting in the midst of the trials to have him there because he was so strong and so vulnerable all at the same time, it made you feel like it was okay to be sad but that you were going to make it.
 
He was up for adventure. When he brought Kristina out to Kenya (the picture above is of that experience) he tried everything enthusiastically and enjoyed himself even if he didn’t want to leave her there!
 
He loved his wife dearly and treated her with the courtesies and sweetness of newleyweds and his girls were his treasure – he adored them.

He made time for people without complaining and was always ready to lend a hand.
 

Lambert served in AIM’s IT department for a number of years. He and Joe Countiss were coworkers and compadres, solving all manner of computer problems for the rest of us. During that time they became very close. So I turned to Joe to help explain what Lambert has meant to us all.
 

Joe writes: “It has been a difficult journey for the Royal family since March of last year when they found out Lambert had cancer.  I am thankful that I had a small part in that journey.  As you can imagine my thoughts have been quite jumbled since Friday when Lambert when home to be with His Lord. I find that my mind jumps from things that happened nearly 10 years ago to last week in the hospital and everywhere in between.
 
Our friendship has grown deeper over the years as we experienced many things together. I can’t count the times we prayed together, laughed together and even cried together. We both loved a good cup of coffee, eating Johnnie’s Bar-B-Q and catching people with our dry sense of humor.

 
He often said he didn’t have the gift of teaching or the ability to go out on the streets, but his ministry was to provide AIM’s missionaries with the tools they needed so they could do those things.

 
It is hard to imagine the pain that Lambert endured over the last 17 months as one vertebra after another collapsed – he eventually lost 4 inches in height. Yet His faith remained strong and He continuously looked to Jesus. As it began more apparent in the last few months that he would not be healed, the enemy tried to introduce a spirit of fear of death into his life. In the week before his home going, God have him a grace gift in letting him experience for one minute what heaven was like when his heart stopped. Later that afternoon he told me what it was like. In his words “it was a place of intense peace and extreme light. I didn’t want to come back, but knew I had to.” Often that afternoon he would stare off into odd corners of the hospital room as if he was still looking through a thin veil separating him from heaven.
 
Lambert was more than a best friend, more than a coworker at AIM, more than a fellow believer to me. Lambert was the brother I never had growing up. I will miss him greatly.”

Comments (9)

  • Hello to your family,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you walk thru another
    hard time. What great memories you can deeply treasure of
    how one person and their family can have such impact on many lives in their midst and still in their passing this place called “earth.” May the God who created your dear friend continue to be your strength as you walk thru these next days of planning and caring, giving that God compassion to those you meet. He is well pleased with His
    faithful servant…I’m just so sure Sarah saw another AIM
    friend
    coming in..and probably met him at the door!!! Praise the Lord for His amazing love that motivates us to care!
    The Bullers

  • Sounds very much like Lambert was assigned to the mission field of the cancer ward that Max Lucado wrote about in “It’s not about Me”. I’m sure many saw Jesus through him…that they may join him later.
    Alleujah.

  • My friend Seth,

    Your heart felt note and memory of a friend was a reminder to me this morning of the Biblical injunction, “Teach us to number our days”…

    And what a beautiful tribute to one who has gone on to the place every Jesus follower yearns for.

    May his family, friends and others who knew him experience today the peace that comes from knowing the Living God has the whole story in mind.

    And for the followers of Jesus it always ends well.

  • Obviously a very special man to you and to many people. Some lives remain as treasures we ponder on with a smile and who still give us moments of strength on darker days just by their memory. Sounds like he was one of those treasures.

    May much grace and peace and kindness be upon his family and all those touched by his loss.

  • Thank you for posting this, Seth.

    He was everything you said about him…

    He is missed by many.

  • I met Lambert every morning in the “pre-training center” kitchen… we would patiently wait for the coffee pot to finish while laughing and smiling about something. I will never forget the day that he stopped me and with the utmost sincerity said, “Laura… I know I’m NEVER supposed to ask this… but are you pregnant?” I smiled and laughed… “No, Lambert… I’m not.” He immediately began back tracking and apologizing “It’s just the style of shirts that people wear these days! I can never tell!” He was so genuine and sweet that I just laughed. Even an “insult” from Lambert was the nicest thing you could hear that day. His hugs and smiles are greatly missed… and the coffee pot has never been the same.

  • Many wonderful words for one man gone home.

    Joe said, “Lambert was more than a best friend, more than a coworker at AIM, more than a fellow believer to me. Lambert was the brother I never had growing up. I will miss him greatly.”

    May someone somewhere someday say some of these things about all of us when we finish.

    May the grace and face of God shine brighter for the Royal Family at this time… in Jesus Name! Amen!

  • Rich and I first met Lambert when he was still searching – still looking as to whether or not following Christ made “sense”. I think that’s why God had Richard and Lambert cross paths at that time. Richard has never been one to shy away from the tough questions (he loves laying down the foundations) and he patiently walked through the beginning steps of faith with Lambert. Through the years it was such a blessing to watch Lambert blossom and grow. And what a witness Lambert was to others as he walked through his life.

    The older I get, the more I treasure the knowledge that those in Christ who pass from this life are awaiting us in Heaven. It truly causes us to be encouraged to press on toward the prize and to finish the race.

    Lambert will be missed but memories of his smile and perseverance will stay with us until we see him again. May God bless Jackie, the girls, and all who effected by his passing.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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