Almost 30 current and former missionaries representing 9 different fields with a combined total of some 382 years of ministry for the Church of God (Holiness)—what an excellent group of people came together for the 2019 Missionary Retreat. Including children, board members, and helpers, our total attendance reached almost 60 individuals.
We wish you could have been at Harmony Hill last month to participate in this first event of its kind. You would have taken many walks down memory lane, heard stirring music, joined in prayer for the nations, and received exciting updates from current missionaries, both those present and those who joined by Skype.
The focus was “Celebrating the Journey,” and one highlight was presenting awards to all the missionaries present, tokens of our appreciation for their sacrificial service for the Master. We also paused to remember many workers from the past who paved the way on the field and now have gone ahead to their eternal reward.
Those present included:
Lois Ann (Query) Bunn (not pictured)—Eastern Caribbean
Paul, Lois & Jeanette Confer—Bolivia
Rod Davis—Board Member
Joe & Sherrel Dodson—Jamaica and Nigeria
Larry, Christy, Lawrance, Amaziah & Jacob Doyle—Papua New Guinea
Dennis & Shirley (Womack) Gordon—Eastern Caribbean
Jere & Ruth Ann Gowin—Cayman Islands and Ghana
Bill & Linda Hayton—Eastern Caribbean and Former Director
Mervin & Judy Hershberger—Haiti
Ray, Sharon & Amber Mauck—Jamaica
Silas McGehee—Former Director
Dan & Jeannie Merkley—Board Member
Ken & Betty Peterson—Eastern Caribbean and Cayman Islands
Dwight & Dorothy Purtle—Board Member
Wayne & Mary Lou Sams—Jamaica and Cayman Islands
Wayne Sumpter & Richard Sumpter—Cayman Islands
Mark Surbrook—Haiti and Current Director
Ed Tatum—Cayman Islands
Bob & Cinda Thompson—Jamaica and Cayman Islands
Joe & Faith Trussell—Bolivia and Board Member
Ralph Wheeler—Former Director
David, Zenia, Joseph & Noah Woods—Cayman Islands
We are also grateful for the indispensable help of the following:
Colleen Taylor and Dustin Taylor, Cooks
Janice Witt and Maddie Taylor, Children’s Activities
Dwight Purtle, Sound Technician
Larry Goodwin, Videographer
Crystal Billington, Photographer
One attendee responded with a note to Director Mark, saying, “Words fall way short for the heartfelt expression of gratitude to you and your incredible team in making this event one of a lifetime.” Many others also seemed to appreciate the event. And, most importantly, the Lord crowned the sessions with His presence and blessing.
In all, it was a brief but wonderful time together. The laughter, testimonies, and worship were surely a small taste of heaven.
In fact, the fellowship together reminded us of the glue that binds all those who know the sense of a calling from God to leave behind family, home churches, and associations to go to another culture and people to spread the greatest news known to man and win souls to Christ. The ministry and influence of these missionaries will go on touching lives until Jesus returns.
Jesus gives honor and a promise in Matthew 19:29 to those who leave houses or family or lands for the sake of His name, saying they shall receive a hundredfold in return and inherit eternal life. We honor these, our missionaries, for their dedication and service.
We are praying that others will hear the call of God to "go into all the world and make disciples." Who will answer, "Here am I send me"?