One of the joys I have experienced this year is getting to serve as our church's Women for Missions Vice President. Here is a recent guest blog post I did for Hampton Park's website:
"I have now to ask whether you can consent to part with your daughter early next spring, to see her no more in this world; whether you can consent to her departure for a heathen land, and her subjection to the hardships and sufferings of a missionary life; whether you can consent to her exposure to the dangers of the ocean; to the fatal influence of the southern climate of India; to every kind of want and distress; to degradation, insult, persecution, and perhaps a violent death? Can you consent to all this for the sake of Him who left His heavenly home, and died for her and for you; for the sake of perishing immortal souls; for the sake of Zion and the glory of God? Can you consent to all this in hope of soon meeting your daughter in the world of glory, with a crown of righteousness, brightened by the acclamations of praise which shall redound to her Saviour from heathens saved, through her means, from eternal woe and despair?" (an excerpt from Adoniram Judson's proposal letter to Mr. and Mrs. Hasseltine for permission to marry Ann, quoted in Arabella W. Stuart's The Three Mrs. Judsons)
Our speaker this month at Women for Missions was Mrs. Brent (Sheila) Moeller. And though Brent's proposal to Sheila and the Williamses wasn't quite so dramatic as Adoniram Judson's (circa 1812), God had very definitely already begun directing Brent's path to South Africa when he asked for Sheila's hand in marriage. She was well aware that marrying Brent meant giving her life for the sake of the Gospel, and she gladly accepted.
Brent and Sheila have now invested twenty years planting four churches and participating in the sufferings of Christ for the advancement of His Kingdom in South Africa. This last term in many ways has been the most challenging on many counts including personal health trials. But God has sustained them, and Sheila was able to share with us her beautiful smile and a gracious testimony of praise.
While enjoying a beautiful assortment of Christmas goodies, Sheila exposed us to a collection of "English" phrases commonly used in South Africa. Then after jotting notes of encouragement to our missionary ladies around the world and focusing our attentions on prayer for them, Sheila shared with us an open word of personal testimony as well as her family's ministry DVD.
Vibrant African singing accompanied photos and video clips of the Moeller's ministry. One vignette occasioned some explanation: a group of men danced and clapped, singing enthusiastically at a tent revival. Sheila explained their culture's tradition of taking turns dancing before their king. First the grandfathers, then the grandmothers, followed by the men and women, the youths, and finally the children, each dance and sing before their king to declare their allegiance to him. In this evangelistic revival, the Christians of their community declared their allegiance to their new King, Jesus. What a beautiful and meaningful expose.
Thank you so much for sharing with us, Sheila. And thank you for ministering faithfully alongside Brent and with your three children. We count it a privilege to partner with you for the sake of our King.
If you missed this month's meeting, please grab the prayer list from beside the WFM bulletin in the hallway behind the main auditorium. Our next meeting will be the first Tuesday in February (speaker: TBD) at 7 pm in the Blue Room. We would love to have you join us as we put together gift baskets for our missionary kids who are attending college here in Greenville (about 15 of them) and who especially love home-baked goods.
Until then, keep upholding our missionary families before the throne of grace, praying especially for their gospel outreaches over the busy holiday season and for their faithful endurance in their personal walks with God.