Though we do not support them simply because of a lack of funds, I love the Maggard family! They are great examples of God consumed men and women. They just celebrated 32 years of marriage. I wanted you to see what Ron wrote about his wife and their ministry. Oh, for God to give us a 1000 like them! I am pretty sure that Betty and I share the same anniversary as the Maggards.
Tribute To My Wife On The Occasion Our 32nd Anniversary
This past month on August 18th, 2008 my wife Frances and I celebrated 32 years of marriage.
As I think back on that Wednesday 32 years ago I remember how we left the Faith Baptist Church in Hopewell, VA, following our wedding and reception to drive to Baltimore, MD where I had a long standing appointment to preach at Rosedale Baptist Church. I know what you are thinking. What was I thinking?
Well thirty two years later when people hear that I preached on my wedding night it still raises eyebrows. I told Frances that I was a preacher before I met her and that preaching was going to be our life. And it has been! Frances became a pastor’s wife while still a teenager. That was interesting! But she pulled it off – with style.
And so she has continued in this role faithfully beside her husband all these years. This past August the 18th was no different. We were up by 4 AM and headed to the Fort Lauderdale airport to catch an American Airlines flight for Port Au Prince, Haiti.
We arrived in the very hot Haitian city about 11 AM. Met by Haitian pastors we packed into an old four wheel drive vehicle without air conditioning for a two hour drive to Gressier. We had no idea what was in store for us. We thought we were staying in a type of guesthouse so we didn’t bring sheets or towels.
When we arrived we found ourselves in a Haitian camp / Bible Institute setting, a place that would test the metal of the most hardy of travelers. They showed us to our room that had a small bed and adjoining bathroom. We were blessed. We didn’t have to share. It had a fan (blessed again) but no air to help with the 90 degree plus heat. After killing several spiders and cleaning a bit and getting the fan to run it was ready for the new inhabitants. Frances taught the pastor’s wives all week.
Each morning she would get ready to meet her class of eager woman and children. After fighting off the bugs that came forth from the shower head and drain, drying on one of my tee shirts and making sure no tarantulas had gotten into her clothes during the night she was ready to face her tasks.
After a breakfast (Haitian style) she climbed the stairs and worked for hours through a Creole translator to get her lessons to their hearts. They were thrilled, blessed and helped with her lessons. Frances has always shown this type of “strength and honor” toward any task she has taken on.
Since her teenage days as the pastor’s wife of a new church to church planting mission work in various and diverse cultures and settings she has always shown herself faithful. Even in her daily tasks as she manages Carelink International Clinic, a ministry of our Iglesia Bautista Faro de Luz, she certainly “stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.” Managing all the duties of scores of volunteer doctors and medical personnel and navigating thousands of patients takes a lot of grace. And she has it!
So as her husband of 32 years spending our anniversary in Haiti once again showed me that she is truly a woman who “should be praised.” I love you Frances. Looking forward to many more with you – Ron.