Greetings Prayer Warriors,
I would like to inform you of the heavenly promotion last month of our dear fellow-soldier Claudia Dideum, who played a valued role in our publication department. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her. We ask your prayers for her husband John and their family in this time of loss. When I spoke to John on the phone, he kept talking about what an amazing experience Claudia must be having in the presence of our Lord and Savior! Pray that the Spirit of God would keep John comforted and rejoicing in Claudia’s eternal promotion.
Looking for that blessed hope (Titus 2:13)
I would like to add to Gene’s sentiments about Claudia with some of my own, knowing that it is difficult to know where or how to begin.
Claudia and I met at a Bible study we were both attending in Springfield, Virginia, back in 2005. I had just volunteered to help Gene with editing his new book at the time, Rivers of Living Water. Not knowing much about the process of formatting, I soon realized that I may be “getting in over my head.” It was suggested by a mutual friend that I ask Claudia if she would consider helping me in my new editing role since she was so well-versed with the details of how to create and publish documents. I told her about BTBM and the Cunningham’s amazing ministry as well as the kind of help I was seeking. In a matter of moments, she made her decision and the rest, as they say, is history!
We went right to work with Rivers and were able to get it to the printing stage within a short period of time. Our method was simple: She would do all the formatting/style-setting and checking of verse references, as well as the initial read-through for comprehension. I would receive a “corrected” copy from which we would then read through together—me reading out loud and Claudia fixing the document as we went along. We would always pray before we began, asking for “the eyes to see and the ears to hear the Spirit” so that the effort itself would be glorifying to the Lord (and that we would “catch” any needed changes in short order). God was so faithful to us over the years—we certainly would not have been able to do all the editing without Him!
If you can think about the sheer volume of written material that has been presented by Gene and Nan over the past 15 years, you will realize that Claudia was an integral part of every single effort—to include every Perilous Times Primer, Simplicity Series, Around the World in Prayer, every set of Bible Conference notes, the formatting and editing of every book, as well as the cover of every book (participating in the design details with our graphic artist, Ben Phenicie). She even retyped the entire newly revised edition of the Basics book before we all worked on it last year! The books include: The Basics book—both spiral and perfect bound versions, Rivers of Living Water, Christian Warrior, Psalm 119, Who Dares Wins, Spiritual Survival Kit, The Eleventh Hour, Basic Training Field Manual, and Nan’s Eshet Chayil—Woman of Honor.
Claudia and I also volunteered to edit books for several other ministries along the way, keeping us remarkably busy in between projects for Basic Training—sometimes simultaneously! She was always so willing to take on anything the Lord set before us.
Her battle with ALS was short and deadly. Symptoms started around last September and progressed rapidly. After lots of testing, and with the ability to speak completely gone by January, the diagnosis was surprising, yet it did not stop her determination to make the most of whatever time the Lord provided. In between trips to the hospital and rehab, Claudia continued to faithfully work on Gene’s newest project—a commentary on the New Testament. Her last full effort was formatting the Gospel of Luke—finishing it the day before she went into the hospital for the last time. God gave me the privilege of spending time with her the day before the Lord took her Home in May—something I will cherish until He takes me Home too, whether by death or in the Rapture.
Claudia’s smiling face, her hearty chuckle, her generous nature, and her amazing ability to turn a document into something excellent will be missed more than I can express. Only in Heaven will it be revealed what kind of impact she has had on the world—behind the scenes now, but gloriously revealed in the future at the Bema Seat, in the presence of our great God and King!
In the matchless name of Jesus Christ,
Co-editor, Basic Training Bible Ministries