I want to dedicate this article to the late Caroline Gross, who went home February 8, 2012 at the age of 88. She was a missionary to Nigeria for over many years with her husband, Paul Gross, who went home several years ago. Also, I want to dedicate this article to Phyllis Dibble who went home June 23, 2011. She was also a missionary to Nigeria with her husband, Spencer Dibble, who is still there doing the Lord’s work.
There are many elderly(though some of them would not say they are) men and women on the mission field awaiting the time they will finally see their Savior’s face. Awaiting the day that they will finally be called home, to heaven, to be with their Savior. For years they have served in foreign countries. They would rather die there, than give up their ministry and retire. What is the drive within them that makes them not give up when it gets hard or when something bad happens, but to continue on until the day they die? It is the fact that they serve the living God. They are followers of Jesus Christ and they believe the promise that He has given to us. That He will be with us always even to the end of the age. They cling to that and know that the God who made the whole universe will protect them and be with them no matter what happens. Whether they lose a child or something happens to their kids or to themselves, they continue on, because they know the God of the universe is in control. They know He will provide for their every need even though they do not know where the money or the next meal will come from. They have seen the Lord work and they are faithful to Him, because they love Him. They have watched His faithfulness to them over the years, as they have pursued Him. They do not need a fancy house or a nice car. All they need is what they have. They don’t need the latest technology to preach God’s word. All they need is their Bible and they may not even need that. My heart is filled with gladness when I see these elderly people who have been and still are on the mission field sharing the gospel, teaching the people, loving the people they are working with. They are showing the love of Christ to the nations. It brings me sorrow to see them leave this earth. They will be missed greatly, but it also brings me joy to know that they have run the race and finished it. They finally get to see the Savior face to face. What amazing examples they are for us and what great encouragement they are to remind us to continue on in the race.