October 4, 2021
Karla and Greg Eilert had been looking in the face of Jesus Christ for so long and with such unwavering focus, that when ALS came calling for Karla last September—with its grim prognosis of progressive loss of muscular function—the Eilerts didn’t blink.
They set themselves to endure the most difficult trial of their lives with the same goal they’d lived prior to diagnosis—magnify Christ.
And so it was that when ALS destroyed Karla’s ability to walk, to move her arms, to turn her head, even to speak, Karla used the muscles she still retained control over—her eyes—to continue telling others about Jesus.
She could have spent her days mourning the loss of the energy and freedom she enjoyed as a high school student on the track and field team in a Kansas town, and reminiscing about the successes she experienced as a student at Kansas State University and in her career as an office manager.
Instead, she did what came so naturally from long years of practice. She loved her Lord, loved her family, and shared the Gospel.
Love Worth Finding learned of Karla’s story after her death on June 28, 2021, in Benton, Kansas, when Greg sent in gifts friends and family had given as a memorial, along with a letter Karla had written.
“Throughout the past 10 months,” Greg explained, “while being confined to her bed…she would always start the day watching and listening to Pastor Adrian Rogers on YouTube. As the illness progressed, her voice was taken from her. In order to communicate, she was able to use a computer that read her eye movements. In this way she could type with her eyes.”
Looking at the letters of the alphabet she wished to type—for three seconds each—Karla completed a four-page letter explaining the Gospel. Her hope, Greg said, was “that even one person would accept Christ through her struggle with ALS.”
“The only resources she had available to her while typing this letter were the truths she had in her mind from years of reading her Bible and her morning sermons from LWF.”
With Greg’s help as primary caregiver, Karla finished her letter, and she finished her life with a legacy of strength and grace to the Eilerts’ two children, their spouses, their eight grandchildren, and the many friends and neighbors in their circle.
We at Love Worth Finding are deeply grateful to Greg for granting us permission to reprint Karla’s letter in its entirety. The letter is precious to Greg, who shares it with everyone he meets, including each new customer he encounters in his plumbing business. It is also precious to LWF. It is a reminder that the days are short—whatever our circumstances, we must all be about the Father’s business.