During my first years on the mission field, I had the privilege of serving alongside Pastor Alan and Beverly Berry. The Berry’s had served in Saint Vincent for over twenty-eight years, and were an incredible source of wisdom and strength to me.
One of my fondest memories of the Berry’s was having thanksgiving lunch with them every year. I have absolutely no idea how Mrs. Berry created stuffing, and cranberry sauce when you couldn’t find here! They were always there for me in a time of need
In many ways missions is a young persons game since it takes lots of energy and health to do the work. But veteran missionaries (those who have served many years on the field) are an absolutely indespensible part of ministry as well.
- They bring wisdom gathered over the years
- Give wise counsel, and the ocassional loving rebuke
- They have already earned the trust of the people, and built a testimony of integrity
- They have a wealth of Scripture knowledge gleaned from personal study
- And an endurance that can only be gained by going through battles on the field
Sadly one by one the veteran missionaries are leaving the field because of retirement, or health concerns. There are young people to take their place, but things just aren’t the same without those “spiritual parents”
The important thing is to treasure every moment you have on the field with veteran missionaries
I would love to have a coffee with Mrs. Berry today, or a Pepsi with Pastor Berry just like old times…..
But they are in America now.
May the Lord help us appreciate the faithful veteran missionaries while they are still with us.