His Service Completed: Peter Orasuk (2)

To a Beloved Brother and Fellow-laborer

It is a privilege and indeed an honor to write a tribute to our esteemed brother Peter Orasuk. The words of 2 Samuel 3:38 came forcibly to mind, “Know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel?” The passing of our dear brother has left the Maritimes, Canada, USA, and the U.K. the weaker. His family feels keenly the loss. Our dear brother Peter loved them all dearly. His homecall was felt by all, and though anticipated, we are stunned. This noble gospel warrior has left the battlefield of earth with its dark days and bright days for the higher courts above where all is perfect in that land where suffering will never come. The large gathering that came to pay tribute and say their farewells to this much-loved servant of the Lord was evidence of the high esteem in which the saints held him.

We borrow the words of another, “What is so amazing about grace?” Peter’s conversion answers to this: from drug addiction and drug dealing to a fruitful life for Christ. Grace was magnified in Peter. One half of his life was lived for sin and self, the other half for Christ and others. He could join truthfully with John Newton:

“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me!”

The radical transformation was so evident and so compelling that Christians and non-Christians alike were convinced of the saving change.

He Loved his Savior

Peter increased in his love and loyalty to his Lord and in 1986 – within ten years of his conversion – launched forth like Peter of old to become a fisher of men. He had the full commendation of the assemblies on Prince Edward Island. “The love of Christ constraineth me,” was his motivation.

He Loved the Souls of the Perishing

I had the privilege of sharing in three gospel series with Peter and will not forget the enthusiasm, warmth, and the unique presentation of the gospel that marked him. He was easy to listen to and had a way of introducing a story to illustrate his point. Peter was a master at this. He was a true soul-winner and was an instrument in the hand of the Lord to win many souls to Christ; he desired reality in those who professed. His conversion story has brought many to tears and sinners to Christ. The gospel was near to his heart; he gave his life to this high calling. Peter joyously did the work God called him to do.

He Loved the Saints and the Local Assembly

Peter was a man of “the Book” and had an extremely keen mind and a retentive memory. Many were greatly blessed under his ministry. He left impressions upon the saints, in particular the young in Christ. None could deny that the Lord gifted our brother in the ministry and in Bible Readings. He was a faithful steward of the great deposit of truth, teaching the unchangeable principles of gathering unto the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ alone.

He Loved the Coming of the Lord

Peter often would lift the saints after the Breaking of Bread or in the closing afternoon of ministry on this precious subject. His apprehension and clear presentation of this truth warmed and refreshed the saints. The secret of it all? “The Lord loved Peter” and this reality kept him going on his fruitful service, even while battling his health for years, especially in his last weeks of deteriorating health. My last visit in his home, six weeks before his homecall, was most cheering; even though weak he conversed freely and had that “Peter smile” that was so infectious. He is now in the presence of the One he loved and served.

In closing, let me say, “He being dead, yet speaketh.” “Until the daybreak and the shadows flee away,” We know this is only “good night,” not “goodbye.”

We remember in prayer his wife Maxine and the family, Natasha, Nathan, Amanda, and little Alex, also his sister, father, and stepmother.