For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die… - Ecclesiastes 3:1-2a
My sister, Shirley, called me this past week to let me know that she had just heard that our aunt Hazel, better known to our family as "Tookie", age 85, had fallen and in falling had struck her head. The net effect of this was that there was severe bleeding on the brain leaving her effectively "brain dead." They were keeping her on life support waiting for her children to arrive at the hospital. Her eldest son, Peter, lives in Madrid, Spain and there heads up a consulting organization to various Christian mission agencies around the world. Peter and his two sisters all arrived within two days, they then "pulled the plug" and within three hours Tookie was dead. The funeral is this afternoon (Sunday). My dad, Shirley, and a number of other relatives are all coming for the service.
I sent word of Tookie's death to my children and Daniel, our son, sent me a video he had taped, from several years ago, in which Tookie shared her life story. It was very informative.
Tookie came to faith in Christ at age 4. Three years later she made the commitment in her heart to become a missionary. By her mid 20's Tookie was making good on that childhood commitment by going to language school in Costa Rica. It was there that she met Jim Clark. They would eventually come to be married and begin a life of service as TEAM missionaries to Honduras. It was there that their two oldest children were born. They would later adopt an abandoned Honduran baby girl as their third child.
I spent the summer of 1973 in Honduras with Jim and Tookie and their kids. That was a great summer – a bit of a stretch, living in very modest conditions and learning to live on rice and beans for breakfast, lunch and supper. I spent that summer doing whatever needed to be done to help the Clark family or other missionary families living in Honduras and on the Isle of Roatan. Years later I was able to return to Honduras in a clean-up effort following the devastation brought on by Hurricane Mitch.
I saw a YWAM (Youth With A Mission) video the other day of some 40,000 youth talking and singing of their commitment to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. It did my heart good. It gave me hope for the future. My Aunt Tookie's commitment as a young little girl to give her life in service to God by bringing the gospel to those who do not know Christ is a reminder that our lives can become lives of great importance. We can truly be used by Christ to change the world. Tookie did that. I was honored to have known her and to have been able to call her my aunt. I look forward to seeing her again…in glory!