On Friday and Saturday I had the privilege of serving the ladies of Habersham County, Georgia’s WMU (Women’s Missionary Union) at their annual retreat, which was held at Camp Pinnacle in Clayton, Georgia. It was a sweet time of service for me, and I pray a time of challenge and growth for the ladies.
I had the pleasure of meeting some of the sweetest ladies over the two days, and came away from the event feeling so blessed. One of the ladies I met is the topic for today’s everyday jesus story. #everydayjesus
On Friday afternoon, I stood at my product table and watched a younger (probably in her late 60s) lady help an older woman (early 80s) to a chair next to my table. The younger woman looked at me, and when I smiled, she said, “This is Anita. She was a missionary.”
Immediately, I was intrigued. I walked over, picked up the pillow in the chair next to Anita, and settled in beside her. Her white hair, kind eyes, and softly wrinkled skin hinted to me that this lady had some stories to tell. I introduced myself and asked her about her missionary years.
Anita was an IMB (International Mission Board) missionary to Nigeria for over 40 years. She taught school in Nigeria, and was the spearhead for the GA (Girls in Action) arm of the WMU for all of Nigeria.
She and I discovered that we have a mutual friend, Jo George. Jo G, as I call her, was my high school guidance counselor. Anita and Jo G used to lead Vacation Bible School in my hometown when they were young women, sixty-plus years ago.
Anita eagerly shared stories of ‘her girls’…..young Nigerian women who were under her tutelage and care. She told me of one who is now at a high level in the Nigerian government. She shared that every year she re-connects at a reunion with those Nigerian women she ministered to who now live in the US. As she talked, her eyes lit up and her love for ‘her girls’ was evident.
I looked at her and with a huge lump in my throat said, “Anita, you are one of our heroes of the faith.”
She lowered her eyes, paused a moment, and said, “God is good.”
I replied, “All the time.”
Without missing a beat, Anita said, “And all the time…”
I finished, “God is good.”
Anita gave her adult life in service to the girls of Nigeria, telling them about Jesus and the love He has for them. Although she did not speak of trials during her years of service, I know that life as a missionary is not without more than a few of them.
Anita retired in 1992, but continues to love and serve Jesus even in her 80s.
I saw Jesus in Anita. Her love for the girls of Nigeria, her devotion to Jesus, and her dedication to spreading the gospel were all evidence of her faith in Christ. It was all I could do to hold back tears later as I spoke and saw Anita’s beautiful face in the crowd. How fitting that my topic for that evening was the LEGACY that we are leaving for the generations that come behind us.
Linking up at Kelly Balarie at #RaRalinkup and Grace & Truth: