When I served with SIM as its State Director I often met some very special people. My job was to assess people’s suitability for overseas missionary service. It was a great privilege to do this. Jan and I found it difficult to sleep after meeting with some of these people over dinner and then on into the night as they shared their desire to serve Jesus. These people had a ‘fire in their belly’ so to speak and were eager to forsake the comforts of life here in Australia for the challenges of life in less developed and privileged communities. Yet, the greatest privilege came when I organized an event for the coming together of retired long term serving missionaries.
I met one lady who stands out in my memory. Her name is Grace Dixon. She is in her eighties or nineties now. She was an ordinary single woman who did not stand out in the crowd. Yet, when I asked her to share her story with me, this ‘ordinary woman’ became a ‘super hero’. She served in some of the toughest countries of the world where few westerners dared to go. One country was Pakistan. She served there for decades in difficult and trying conditions. I asked why she persisted for so long. She simply answered me by saying that God had sent her there. She followed up by saying that she knew God’s call and this was all that mattered to her. When hardships came (and they did) she looked to her Master and remembered all that He had promised her in the Scriptures! Grace was the first person I invited to share with any new prospective missionary! Why? Simple really! She remembered! She remembered what was important! She remembered God’s word! She remembered the promises God made to her! She remembered every day God’s goodness to her in giving her a Saviour named Jesus!
The Apostle Peter shares with us from today’s Bible reading the importance of remembering. Peter believes that we need to be reminded again and again of the basic truths of the Christian gospel and the importance of living out transformed lives even when it is very difficult – particularly in this cynical and godless world we live in today! Grace Dixon did this day in and day out in her faithful service over a lifetime! What a dear sister in Christ she is and what a model for me! She remembered!