Thursday, June 23, 2011

Lillian Cooper's Legacy (Memorial Service to be held July 2, 2011)

The history of YWAM Chico began long before this ministry came under the covering of Youth With A Mission.  It began with a couple named Cecil & Lillian Cooper.  Together, they had a vision to create a place where Christian youth and others could come and be refreshed - a "Christian retreat center."  In June of 1967, following the direction of the Lord, they discovered Richardson Springs just north of Chico.  Tucked into a canyon, it had a unique feel and atmosphere which they knew instantly was the place for their vision to take form.  They made an offer on the property (by faith, since they did not yet have the necessary funds for the purchase), and God began to move miraculously in and through their obedience. 

Cecil & Lillian named the new ministry "Springs of Living Water Christian Conference Center", and began to see the fruit of their vision.  Their first conference was in April 1968.  Following is a quote from Cecil about that conference: “It was a group of about twenty-five young people from College Avenue Presbyterian Church in Oakland, California. On Sunday morning, [my wife] Lillian and I were invited to attend their worship service. Several of the young people told of being saved and baptized in the Holy Spirit. As tears ran down our faces, I turned to Lillian and said, ‘Honey, if nothing else ever happens here, what we are hearing here this morning would make it all worthwhile.' " In keeping with his testimony, there have been many salvations, baptisms, and life transformations in the years that have followed.

In April of 1988, Cecil & Lillian gave the Springs of Living Water conference ministry into the care of Youth With A Mission.  In November,1989 Cecil passed on to be with the Lord.  On June 13, 2011 Lillian Cooper also passed from this life into the next.  Those who knew Lillian would tell you that she had the gift of encouragement.  She was always ready to share a "word in season," giving words of life and encouragement from God's Word, as well as from His Spirit through her willing voice.  

Lillian leaves us a legacy of faith and relationship with God that lives on in the many thousands of people who have been touched by the ministry of Richardson Springs "Springs of Living Water Christian Conference Center."  We at YWAM Chico / "Springs of Living Water" have been blessed by the life and example of Cecil & Lillian, and aspire to continue carrying their legacy for many generations.

A memorial service in honor of Lillian Cooper is planned to take place at YWAM Chico / Richardson Springs on Saturday July 2, 2011at 2 pm.

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