I got an e-mail a couple of days ago from a woman who lives in my hometown. She wrote to inform friends of their family that her elderly mother died on December 27th.
Her mother, V, was a stranger to me until the year before I came out here to Asia. We were strangers for many reasons up until 2004 but I’m thankful I had the chance to get to know her a little bit. Way back in 1939, V arrived in China to work with CIM (which later became OMF). She married B two years later and together they served the Lord throughout their lives in a number of various countries and situations. I never met B – he died in 2004.
The year in between YWAM and coming out here to work with the Thai-yai was short and long all at the same time. In that year, the Lord introduced me to a number of elderly, godly people who reached out to me, loved me, encouraged me, challenged me and prayed for me. V was one of these highly valued people. She spoke to me from a long life of experience – of bringing burdens before the Lord and trusting in Him to provide. She had countless testimonies of God’s provision, sovereignty, love and grace. I recognise that I only heard a smidgen of these treasures but I’m confident that her children, many grandchildren and great grandchildren hold a vast treasury of these jewels that give witness to the Lord.
Even after I arrived in Thailand, I would hear from V through e-mails – she was technically savvy even in her old age. Because of the Holy Spirit leading her, V was always so accurate in knowing what I was experiencing and struggling with, as well as in knowing how to encourage me. Correspondence with her was a treat.
Days before V died, her daughter wrote in the recent e-mail, V was conversing with a relative over the phone and “spoke like a bride awaiting her wedding day, saying that she was anticipating her ‘special day’ when she would see Jesus and B.” She also said of her Mom that “…to the end she was clear in her testimony and desire to see others experience the joy and peace that comes with that faith.”
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:6-8)
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. … Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:3-5, 8-9)
Thanks for your example of faith V – of believing in Him and actively living it out each day. Thank you for investing in me.