Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sister Joy

Our church back in Detroit sponsored several missionaries. One couple, Brother John and Sister Joy, worked in the Philippines. They had devoted their lives to ministering to Palawan and Manila and to working in their home church in Elmira, NY. Their visits to our church were accompanied by amazing stories of victory, of God doing incredible miracles. They spoke of meetings with hard-hearted, antagonistic government officials whose hearts God miraculously softened and whose minds were changed to the point of promising protection to the work they were doing there.

Most recently, this couple turned their focus to the small children they would see in the market. These children, orphaned or abandoned by their parents, would make pennies selling plastic bags to tourists who were shopping for souvenirs. John and Joy worked tirelessly to establish a children's home (Door of Hope Palawan). Despite seemingly impossible obstacles, God used them to build this beautiful home and provide loving care for these kids. Together, Brother John and Sister Joy have done so much. But there is still so much more to be done.

Sunday night, on a flight back to the Philippines, Sister Joy fell asleep and she didn't wake up.

I knew her only from the visits to the church and the letters they wrote to update us, but I will never forget Sister Joy. She had a huge smile and a sweet voice. She loved her husband so much - that was clear. She was a woman of God and laid her life down for her children, her family, and the work that God had called them to on the mission field. She was warm-hearted and wise, and I wish I had known her better.

It shocks me that someone can be here one moment, and gone the next. We truly are like grass in the field. Sister Joy spent her life for Jesus and I would guess she has no regrets.



  1. Praise God that we know where we're going after our time here is done. I'm so thankful for missionaries :-)

  2. I know, you are so right. I struggle with the selfishness of wanting people to stay HERE. Someone said, "Our great loss is Heaven's gain," which I've heard before, but my first thought is, "Why does Heaven need to gain anything? We need her on Earth!" Of course God is in control and we have to trust him.... and of course remember that we'll all be together someday forever.

  3. Lord teach us to count our days, deeply cherish those around us, and to take every opportunity to share with the world your goodness through Jesus Christ.