Lunch With Freda

Freda met us in the lobby, shaking my hand with a smile and hugging Chrissy.

We had never met before noon yesterday. Despite the age difference between the 85-year-old and the two 22-year-olds at her door, we had much in common with and much to learn from each other.

Over a lunch of chicken, twice-baked potatoes, and fried okra at the Christian Village Retirement Home, the funny and alert Freda Field told us story after story of faithful obedience to the Lord.

She told us about leaving her pre-med major at Freed-Hardeman to be a preacher’s wife.

She told us how she “needed to marry someone from Lipscomb because he had a better concept of grace” than she did. “So full of grace,” she said.

She smiled as she described the Eskimo children she and her husband adopted during their first ministry job in Juneau, Alaska.

Our common bond, however, is a passion for church planting in which the Fields participated in Waterbury, Conn., during the ’70s and ’80s. She smiled as she described spiritual breakthroughs with pockets of people around the small blue collar town, adding to the flourishing church in the New England mission field.

The 45 minutes we spent with Freda were truly encouraging, for many reasons. One reason was that sitting with a woman who has devoted 60+ years to bringing the gospel to Americans felt like a baton passing of sorts.

Ministers and missionaries could walk by Freda and not even know the godly life she has lived. Christ-followers of all ages need to sit at the feet of these “giants of the faith,” many of whom are in our local churches and retirement homes.

Freda is still active in God’s mission in the world, serving lunch to her handicapped neighbors, mailing medicine to ailing Haitians and serving as surrogate grandmother to students from Madagascar. She also takes care of her sister, Marie, who is nine years older than Freda (94 years old, for the math-impaired) and a firecracker in her own right.

Whether we’ve been in ministry for a year or 30, we must not ignore the lives of service and ministry of those who have come before us. We are not the first passionate ministers of the gospel!

Who are the Christ-followers who have come before you that serve as inspiration for your ministry?

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