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February 28, 2021 7:00 am
Well good evening and thank you so much for being here tonight for our memorial service for missionary steward wall.
A true man of God that we been privileged to partner with for good many years. We thank the Lord for his life and ministry and will be talking a little bit about that tonight because I know that not all of you know him all that well good many years since he was here in the states because of the health conditions that he has, but you need to know about him going to share information with you tonight that I think will be helpful to you in that regard. I know you're not accustomed to coming on Sunday nights of thank you for breaking the stay at home and watch on the lifestream habit and gathering your tonight in the auditorium. Good to see you. We have been missing the regular meetings of the saints and of course Sunday morning has been good and attendance has really been getting strong on Sunday morning are very grateful for that. Just a couple of things of this Wednesday night, the teams and the college and career will meet together in the team room at 7 o'clock to enjoy a Bible study on David and also to watch the year-end review for 2019 and 2020 that a course on video Wednesday night, 7 o'clock, while the rest of us will gather in front of the computer screens and will tune into the lifestream Wednesday night service or City Councilman sent a thank you card it was good to see her in the service this morning and again tonight and she says I want to thank everyone for all your prayers, cards and food during the two surgeries I had. I'm so glad the journey is over and I thank God for helping me through this. He is truly a great position.
I'm glad to be part of such a loving, giving church were already were always ready to help in any way they can. God is so good. I'm very grateful to everyone love in Christ, or say were grateful that you are doing well. Well, this is a memorial service for steward one you'll recognize that that will be the main focus throughout the evening want you to realize that what this is above everything else is a worship service to the Lord Jesus Christ come to worship him to give him the glory to thank him for the life of Stuart walk because he is the one who gave steward life. He is the one who gave Stuart the gifts that he had in such abundance is the one that gave him a desire to serve the Lord in such a committed way and who kept him persevering through some very, very difficult times. We also want to welcome Rev. R Larson in his church in Michigan, wider standard tuning in to their entire streaming the service into their congregant into their auditorium tonight. They have been a supporting church for Stuart while for many years and though we've never met, you are if you're there welcome brother and thank you for your participation in the ministry of Stuart and Laverne wall reading from second Corinthians chapter 12 verses one through 10. This is the account of Paul's being caught up to heaven and he says it is doubtless not profitable for me to boast, I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ who 14 years ago, whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know God, no such a one was caught up to the third heaven and I know such a man, whether in the body or out of the body I do not know God knows how he was caught up into paradise and heard inexpressible words which it is not lawful for a man to utter of such a one, I will boast of myself. I will not boast, except in my infirmities, though I might desire to boast I will not be a fool where I will speak the truth but I refrain lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be your peers from me unless I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me and he said to me, my grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities reproaches and needs, and persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. Two things in this passage that came to my mind as I was thinking about the service tonight and one is the glorious condition of heaven so wonderful so glorious that Paul was not allowed to describe it sought God said, I don't want you to tell about it, just come on back and do your work.
Paul needed that revelation because of the difficulties of the ministry that he was involved in.
He was tried and persecuted and beaten and imprisoned the end of June and dumped in the ocean and all the things he went through and yet God sustained him in one of the ways of God sustained and was giving him this glimpse of heaven. He said here's where you're going.
Here's where his gun and and here's what you're working toward the gospel.
Your preaching is gathering others to go to this wonderful place and of course that's where our brother Stuart is now.
He's enjoying all of this, it is probably saying why did I want to hang on down below so wonderful appear wonderful, wonderful reality of the life to come.
The second reason I wanted to read this particular passage is because of this emphasis upon God's strength made perfect or complete in our weakness when we think of the life of Stuart.
While we realize that he labored under infirmity and difficulty for not months, but years and not years.
But decades from a human standpoint, we might be inclined to say Lord, why did you why did you hinder your servant in this way he could have done so much more if he hadn't had these hindrances.
Then I go to Scripture and I realize from the word of God that actually we generally accomplish more when we are weak because the weaker we are, the stronger he is. It's always his power working through us if there's anything that's accomplished for eternity. And so Stuart had a wonderful ministry before he got sick. Stuart had a powerful ministry after he got sick and probably the key to that power was his weakness. The knowledge of his weakness and his utter and complete dependence upon God will. Here's are going to be doing tonight I'll introduce the program, which is in front of you were going to pray were knocking to be let in prayer by Eric Johnson because he also labors under infirmity. And though he wanted very much to be here tonight. He just had a bad afternoon was not physically able to do so. He has struggled with Lyme's disease.
For how many years now Jane over 10 years and so he labors in weakness. A good deal of the time, but I he wanted to be here and I wanted him to be as well. If not for nothing more than just to remind our congregation of two things. Number one, what a significant part Providence Baptist Church in Pastor Eric Johnson and then Pastor Bob Boyd who will labors with him and who is here tonight. What a tremendous part they have had in the ministry in Zimbabwe that that involvement has been inestimable. It has been of of of such great value they been involved in so many ways and you'll hear more about that as a service goes on, but also I just wanted to remind you that that was one of the blessings that God has given to our church to have a part of the establishment of Providence Baptist many years ago we did nowhere that was going. Somebody said, would you help us try to start a church down here we said well will try and it was a long slow I think about 10 years we labored before we were able to turn it over to pastor Eric Johnson, the Lord used him to bring along and it's in is in good strength now, but for 10 years. Many of you were involved in lease had someone go down every Sunday night and preach and then one of our adult Sunday school classes accompany that preacher because otherwise there would only been at the beginning, six or eight or 10 people at the most.
We brought a Sunday school class. A guide to beef up the numbers a little and have a few more folks to preach to and to encourage the people there and we did that for 10 years until there were a large enough group about 30 folks. But at that point to begin a work in so that's an unexpected fruit of the ministry here and it is a it's even a greater unexpected blessing to see how that church is probably become well I don't know whether to say that has become the strongest of the second strongest supporting church for the laws.
It depends on how you're measuring it, but their involvement has just been amazing and so we thank the Lord for that.
So after letting for a Bible to her will sing, then I'm going to say a few things about the life and ministry. Stuart Waugh pastor K is going to come and talk about Zimbabwe Zimbabwe pastors training, after which Pastor Bob Boyd from Providence Baptist in Asheboro will come talk to us about the role of Laverne wall very important role, particularly because of the illness of stewardess had all of these years and she is still with us and still committed to the work and is still going to be continuing on the work that God has given to her. There and then after he tells us about that. We have a video were going to play so that you can see and hear Laverne for yourself a video that I have not yet seen or heard because of my clumsiness in dealing with the with technical things and it came to me yesterday but I was not able to download it, but the techie guys tell me they've got and read it here at tonight so I'll be seeing that with you for the first time and then after that video were going to hear from Stewart himself to times when he was here in this pulpit and about a five-minute exhortation from Stewart and then were going to hear him saying a song that probably is the life, testimony and song of Stuart Waugh, after which I'll come and say a few more things about the legacy of Stuart Waugh will have a congregational hymn will close and then will slip over to the fellowship hall and enjoy the time of refreshment and fellowship together.
At this time will ask Pastor Bob to come and pray for sports. I was thinking this afternoon I had to pick one word that I would think of him thinking of Stuart why it would be faithfulness. First Corinthians 4 verse two says moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful fathers who come before you tonight. We want to do more than honor a man's pasture as mentioned, we want to insult you for what you've done in and through Stewart's life of your glory and order in so doing we want to also express our love and gratitude for his help me and partnering ministry. Laverne, when I think of Stuart in Laverne Waugh. Indeed, faithfulness is one of the first words that come to my mind faithfulness to you that's evidenced itself and down the needier Providence that for purposes that only you know was hard and long and uncertain faithfulness to Christ and an obvious love for in a dedication of the gospel faithfulness and ministering to the needs of the brethren both in Zimbabwe and elsewhere, to the best of his ability. Faithfulness in preaching and teaching your word with the desire that it go forth accurately with power to the preaching of the passions that you placed in his care, and finally found it.
Faithfulness to his wife and family and a willingness to be separated from for months and months on end. How often I marvel at how difficult I had to been for all of them and what I pray to you who wore them openly for this act and so Lord tonight we asked you bring honor to yourself is to reflect upon the life and ministry of your servant Stuart Waugh will praise you for in Christ's name Terry opposing it is well with my soul status role.
I wanted to take a few minutes tonight to talk about the life and ministry of Stuart Waugh's for those of you who don't know him that well that we have been heavily involved in that ministry for many years, particularly how it was that we came to be so closely related together, in partnership I received on Thursday a communication for missionary Mark Blackwell.
I'm going to read part of that to begin my explanation of the life and ministry of Stuart. Why because our relationship was Stuart actually goes back to his relationship with Mark Blackwell. Mark Blackwell is missionary that we have supported even longer than Stuart Waugh and Stewart came under Mark's ministry in what was in those days Rhodesia and so they have had a very close relationship over the years somebody read Mark writes I have left Stuart since 1975 was my first student in our pastors training Institute in Saulsberry. That's the old name for Harare. He was ordained. They are Stewart was the first pastor of Baptist Bible church for short. In Stuart and Laverne went to South Africa to serve as interim pastor for Mark and while it brings all the rings were on furlough. Those are other missionaries that most of you don't know, but I've had the privilege of visiting them in their ministry in South Africa and he said Judy and I located our church planting ministry to Westville Natal and he doesn't explain the reason that that was because of the revolution and Rhodesia when it became Zimbabwe. The black will stay there long time for a lot of the fighting really got involved in some of that very it's very close calls, but finally they in virtually all I think not. Virtually.
But I think completely all missionaries left the country any of them went to South Africa to labor their and a good many of the flight Rhodesians left at that time, the population of the flight Rhodesians went dropped from about 250,000 down to about 10,000 over a period of time the claimant was very very unfriendly to them but anyway says that we relocated and Stuart and Laverne joined us in Durban, South Africa, and we were a great team. We loved working with them we visited house to house.Bible studies for each other generally encourage one another, Stuart, Laverne and their children were used of the Lord to plant new Germany Baptist Church and together we teamed up to start the church ministries Institute.
We still Blackwell's move to Cape Town Stewart's ministry and leadership in the tall Durban kept on expanding he and Laverne blessed, so very many in the Durban period of their lives and carries on to this day really does that church and Stewart establish their new Germany Baptist Church is one of the strongest churches in South Africa. It has gone on. It had after he left. It had an American missionary for pastor for a while and then for many many years it has been fully self-supporting. Foley's fully support their own pastor is a beautiful building. It is a very strong church that was established.
Thereby, Stuart, but then he went back to Zimbabwe, but this letter continues pastor Greg and Marty, your many ministry visits to southern Africa have been used of the Lord to encourage us the books and materials you have sent to us were used and reused by us and our students beloved beacon Baptist love for people so far away has made such a difference to us and to worldwide evangelism.
We are truly honored to be your missionaries, and signed by Blackwell Senior article.
Can I tell you about the life and ministry. Stuart Waugh.
Stuart was actually born in Cape Town South Africa but his family moved to Rhodesia when he was very young I think about two years of age. His father Lawrence Walker was a businessman, and I don't remember exactly what areas of business. He was involved with in Saulsberry but he eventually became the head of the Rhodesian stock exchange very prominent businessman very prominent family and that was the family were Stuart grew up in Rhodesia and received there at that time an outstanding education as was available to those who had the money to pay for that sort of thing. He had a British classical education and unit if you know Stuart well, you know that it was but I do want to get sidetracked into that and he trained is a college degree was in education. He went on to become a high school teacher that he was well-suited for that, but he was saved by the influence of an American missionary the godsend into the Rhodesia those days, and Stewart came to know the Lord but that missionary did not remain, and Stewart was in need of someone to teach him and renter him and the Lord brought him into contact with missionary Mark Blackwell and I just explain that to you a moment ago when Stuart indicated not only a desire for ministry, but also a desire for mission work rather than pastoring even though he had pastored that Bible Baptist Church in the Saulsberry now Harare for a while. Missionary Mark Blackwell brought him back to the states to introduce him to independent faith mission board at that time, I served on the board because there weren't enough churches in South Africa or Zimbabwe to support missionaries at that time. Today there are there are a lot of churches not in Zimbabwe but in South Africa, so that's where I first met Stuart Waugh that would've been sometime around 1979, 1980 and he really stood out at that time I can't explain exactly what they were just something about him that was so engaging so so radiated the love of Christ and I just fell in love with him just from the interview that we had when we were considering whether or not to receive him as a missionary and he was the first missionary and may be the only one with IFN who was not an American missionary. This is a bit unusual I were going to do this.
A lot of additional boards don't Notes, don't receive missionaries from other countries, but after discussion, we decided that this was the thing to do and I invited him to come to beacon to present his ministry here and he did and we gladly added him to our missionary families apart started supporting him on a monthly basis and became involved in his ministry that way. Stuart, as we already heard left Rhodesia when it became Zimbabwe during the revolution went to the Durban South Africa and I visited him there so the minister he was involved with their and saw the new Germany Baptist Church and so forth. It was a real wonderful time. I was able to do that thing Marty was with me when we made that first visit you. Yes you had a wonderful time and Africa.
We traveled all over Africa, South Africa. We visited in Kenya we visited in Zimbabwe at that time and at that time Stewart's parents were still there and we stayed several days in their home in Harare and got to know them as well. By this time the Lord had brought them to faith in Christ. Somewhere along the line that I don't remember the exact time, but it would've been about 19 8619 1986 Stuart came to me and I think 20 was home on furlough.
I don't really remember if this was by correspondence or furlough, but I think my furlough. He came to me and he said I need to secure another home church.
Another sending church because my home church in Harare that he had pastored it one time.
He said it's gone charismatic and I can no longer remain a conscientious member of that church and I need to find another one and he said there really aren't any suitable churches in Zimbabwe that I could become a member of and so I'm looking for a church in the states and he said I wondered if beacon would consider receiving us as members and sending us out as our source of sending church and the church which we are accountable.
Well, that was a was a significant request. One thing to support a missionary. It's another thing to take a missionaries member of your church and become accountable for him in a much greater level of responsibility and we talked at over at that time and we said well even though we don't know him and the way that we would like to. He hasn't been part of our congregation.
We haven't seen function here within our church. Nevertheless, everything we know about him is outstanding and could we ever say that a missionary that we support, we wouldn't be happy to have as a member of our church and so we decided to go ahead with that and it proved to be one of the most delightful decisions we ever made. It proved to be far more blessing to us. I'm sure that it was to them. But somewhere along the way this issue came up I said you know we got something we gotta clarify because since the time that we first started supporting Stuart in the time that he now come to us with this request are church had moved from a what should I say more generic Baptist theology to a Calvinist theology, the doctrines of grace and were busy bringing our congregation longer, those those days we were all there yet, but we were moving in that direction and I said you know we've got to got to clarify that issue is Stuart.
I don't know if he's going to be happy about that are not in once he finds that out of it doesn't, I simply didn't already know it because he had been around her that much. I said he may decide he wants to find another church to request to become a member of and so I had that discussion with him and I was really I was really kind of what should I say little bit apprehensive that he was going to say oh I'm sorry you have to go someplace else because I really didn't want to lose this relationship. They looked at me and he said Greg he said I knew that. He said what he think I chose beacon were on the same page and so that issue settled and was going on from there. Had a delightful time together and they became members. I got the membership card right here they received into membership in July 26, 1987 by transfer letter from Baptist Bible church in Harare, Zimbabwe, and that's how they became members of beacon Baptist Church and we took on a new responsibility left a while that he was just fell strongly they needed to return to Zimbabwe made. There was greater than ever before. Everybody else is left all the missionaries and gone. There was very little gospel witness. There certainly no sound gospel witness and all kinds of things bringing up their you cannot imagine the various cults and heresies and deviations from Christianity that have spread through that land. That was their home country. Laverne was born in Rhodesia. She was a native citizen of that country from birth and Stuart of course had grown up there been there nearly all of his life. So they returned to Zimbabwe and went to a rural area rolled up her sleeves and went to work and preach the gospel and people were saved and they planted the church and more people or safety, and things were just, just burgeoning all around him in a number of men were saved to showed interest in ministry and a couple of whom were Muslims in the Lord save them.
I mean, things were happening there just were outstanding. They planted a church. They build a building beautiful building. Still, there is now a chicken coop or goat barn or something like that. I'm sure about the same as taken over the government confiscated the property in and took it and that's what Stuart said you know I'm not in the building were buildings I minute I'm in a play churches bulimic in the building were buildings, churches and outbuildings, buildings and churches and since then he hasn't billed any buildings, but now some of the churches that the men under him a planted of started building buildings citing one of the former Muslims has built his own building. They've constructed it out of bricks which they made themselves out of mind what mud one by one, handmade bricks constructed building and and so things just blossom now this is what I want to say I noticed this in South Africa and I saw it again in Zimbabwe. Stuart was clearly one of those people that got hit his hand on in a special way, and wherever he went. Souls were saved and churches sprang up just amazing.
He may be the closest thing I've ever seen to the possible in having that special hand of God on him and working through him. It's almost like it just happens spontaneously, and most men work like crazy to get a little something you're going. Stuart just comes in breach of the gospel and people are being saved and churches are planning planted pastors are being trained is quite amazing, but that's exactly what I observed, but also somewhere along the way. Stuart got hepatitis C and began to work on his liver cirrhosis of the liver and he got sicker and sicker and that he dealt with it for years and years and years. He came here for an extended period of time, hoping to get a liver transplant here in the states, and he stayed with us for a long time on two different occasions.
Actual and it became clear that that wasn't going to happen. So I finally said, look, I'm going to just go back to South Africa. I can't. I can get the medical care I need in Zimbabwe but I can in Johannesburg.
That's a has been a medical center in the world that's with very first heart transplant in the world to place and so they've had excellent medical care. There and he said I just go put myself under the care of the doctors they are in and dig hopefully get my liver transplant. There in South Africa will be able to travel back and forth to Zimbabwe and stay in touch with them in there and by this time he's got at least eight pastors who are pastoring churches and they are needing trading he's been training them up until now by himself and with the help of some others. Occasionally and now he's not able to train them as actively as he did before but he stays in very close touch with them by telephone. They all have phones. They all have phones that may not have food but they got a cell phone that's is the way it is in the African lot of other places. I think I told you the story when Marty and I were in the Philippines about listing 15 or 16 years ago now. We were taken to a mall and normal fairly typical looking ball American style ball with the Filipino flavor.
Of course, first floor looked like a normal mall second floor look like a normal wall, third floor.
The whole floor was cell phone sales on kid you not.
I never seen so many cell phones in my life whole floor and moving around.
I was out with John Dreisbach is now with the Lord, and he took me introduced me to one of the pastors.
He was working with pastor poor poor Filipino pastor lived in a shack and he said all conditions are so difficult in our village. She said we don't have electricity here. He said why we have to go to the next village to charger for cell phone only to know if I had a cell phone at that point but anyway that's is the way it is. They stay in touch by phone most of the time by texting texting Street lot cheaper than conversations and so they text. Stuart stays in close touch with these pastors, but he also had to incorporate help with his pastors training and that's where we got involved. We started traveling over. He wanted to hold pastors training conferences at least twice a year, weeklong conferences, and so for a while there I was going in the spring of pastor Kate was going in the fall and then eventually is Providence got involved. Eric Johnson went several times so this is the way that the training has continued and we've become very close not only to the laws into their ministry there, but also to the pastors who we now know very personally very dear pray for them by name. Their photos are out here on the bulletin board and I hope you'll get acquainted with them as well.
But that's that was a very strategic way to be involved in the ministry, but Stuart even though he's in South Africa most of the time and occasionally he would be in Zimbabwe for when we were holding a conference and he would come by before part of a day or two, but he just really wasn't able to to us to be there for whole day just in his health wouldn't permit, but I would always if he wasn't going to be in Zimbabwe. I would always plan my trip so I could spend some time with him I would make sure I had a free night in Johannesburg so that I could spend some time catching up with Stuart in talking with him and so forth.
So this became an important part of our trips, but he finally got a liver transplant. After all these years.
We didn't think was going to happen.
Then it finally happened on September 1, 2020 and he seemed to be doing great and he was looking forward to getting back in greater involvement in the ministry and then things went awry and began to develop some some complications and on January 26. He passed in the presence of the Lord five months from the time of his transplant.
Many of the things I could tell you but were not going to be here all night promise you so this time pastor Kate is going to come and tell us about the training conferences good evening to you. Good to see people here on Sunday night staring at that back up use for quite a while here so it's good the Zimbabwe pastor training conferences grew out of necessity. The first official training conference was in 2010 and Eric Johnson and Musser who went with him, but he conducted the first conference in 2010 I went 2011, he and Bill Hill whose width is the director of equipping nationals worldwide and then in 2012. Eric and I went together and that was his last year of going health. Worry not return between beacon and Providence.
We have conducted over 20 pastor training conferences in Zimbabwe that is a significant investment in time and resources, but we believe in this principle, the Paul gives us in second Timothy chapter 2 the writing to Timothy. He says to Timothy in the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses commit these two faithful men will be able to teach others also. You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Stuart planted Minoru Baptist Church on a farm there in Zimbabwe and the land redistribution act disrupted the country. There was financial crisis political crisis and the farms were owned by the white people were taken from them and given to the native Zimbabweans and toward the end of that. It was by force and the threat Coming coming to the laws and finally they saw that it was inevitable that they had to abandon the farm band in the church that they'd planted and when they did that congregation was dispersed and the men that stewarded been investing his life and training and mentoring to be church planters.
They in the people of the churches were scattered in the rural parts of the country. Pastor Joseph is still there on the farm. He works there and are still a remnant of the people that he pastors there and it still Minoru Baptist Church but that necessitated the training of these men. They were thrust out, we would say from a human standpoint prematurely. But God does all things well in these men responded in a grown and it's wonderful to call these men are friends and colleagues of the ministry there tremendous soldiers of Christ. There gospel preachers?
When mentioned in a win when we would plan for a conference. We would do that in concert with Stuart Law about what he believed. The needs were with the man in the churches and we would develop a conference theme and a plan and then we would go and execute. That would take a week we would be there and preach in some of the churches conduct this conference for Monday to Friday and sometimes preaching to church on the back and and and fly home that was that the typical pattern, but we would if Stuart was in the country. We would touch base with him we would reevaluate at the end we would get his input about what he wanted to do next year and so even though he was removed from that the field of ministry.
He was very much involved. Meet with him in Johannesburg, South Africa either on the way in or on the way out and sometimes he would be there, but that came at his request.
There were perhaps a few others through the past 10 years who have been involved in similar things but the lion share has been carried by Providence Baptist Church and beacon Baptist Church, Harry Maples, which has been my training partner for five years that he is gone with me brother, Jerry, Gerald from this church went with me one year and I went to other years. Eric's been there 678 different times so it's a thrill to be able to be a part of that ministry and it's so strategic to see these men growing responding.
The church is flourishing. But what we would do. Stuart was very adamant that he wanted us to conduct these conference in such a way that we would. We were modeling expositional preaching for the man so the men were being trained on how to handle the word of God how to preach the word of God so that was as important as the content that we were communicating to them. But these men would take and we would provide extensive notes from our sermons, they would have a copy of them and they would take that an ethereal and they would stand in their churches in their pulpits and priests to their people what they had received in the conferences and that just is the pattern that is developed is 10 years so it's it's wonderful to see the extension that are to churches of had in the land of Zimbabwe. I think among those those eight, nine, 10 churches, probably collectively there probably 600 or more believers in those churches. So we are having influence beyond our borders and God's kindness to us so in a few minutes.
I wanted to take.
That's why wanted to say about the Zimbabwe training conferences.
The been disrupted this past year because of COBIT we couldn't get in and out of the country on tickets bought the go and we weren't able to do that.
But as soon as the borders are opened they want us to return the need is great. There are pockets of people all through Zimbabwe that these men know people crying asking for a Bible study in these churches basically begin that way. Bible study begin somebody takes a burden for Bible study and before long there is 1520 3040 people there and then the need is for a shepherd and under shepherd to common pastor these people and establish a chart so that's the pattern. This developing in the need is not gone away the need we can keep up with the need really need and that's when the things I've appreciated about Stuart his commitment to integrity. You would think.
Let's get let's get somebody who who can fill a whole and that he wasn't that way he was looking for biblically qualified man and he wasn't quick to lay hands on a man and pronouncing the pastor and send them over here to pastor group of people he wanted those men he wanted them to be qualified and trained so he was willing to go slow in and deal with that tension that he was constantly up against the need was great. Here's what God is given to us. Some depending on my home church and Providence Baptist Church.
So the relationship that is developed between our two churches Providence and beacon in the laws is is been wonderful and enters many many churches that have supported the work, but because he's a member of the church. She's committed to the same theology that we are, and he was insistent that he didn't want any confusion.
Some in the minds of the man so that's why he's drawn upon our two churches and we been our congregations have been willing to support dad enthusiastically with prayers and financial gifts so I'm humbled to have been a part of it and trust that the Lord will allow us to continue to do that and to see what God yet will do in the saving of souls and the establishing of Christians and the establishment of more Bible believing local churches in the land Zimbabwe. Thank you for the opportunity to come. My part in this is to go speak on the role of Laverne. Why is it an honor. Eric really really want to be here. He sends his regards and now he's he's not doing well today so please pray for him, but it is a privilege for me to be here and to represent Providence Baptist Church.
It's also been a great privilege for me to to partner with you and other like-minded churches in the work in Zimbabwe. It's so so encouraging for us states to go there to see the hand of God.
We we did a study of this morning about Brandenburg button Bob Ramberg from French Baptist church in Raleigh can swing speak on the first great awakening and what I what I tremendous example of words hand in revival to get a place like like Zimbabwe and to see again.
I tremendous working of God's grace in bringing in women to the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ to genuine conversion. It is such a privilege for us to be a part of something like that.
Now, I've only known the loss for probably six or seven years. So many of you I'm sure of known them much longer than I have, but it's certainly been a privilege to go to Zimbabwe to spend some time with Stuart and Laverne to get to know them and all the time that I've known them. Stuart is not been whale. He is been kind of the leading from the shadows. I guess you could say that because he just not been able to be upfront in the ministry with the dynamic was between Stuart and Laverne in the in in terms of their roles in ministry before he became a but what I do know is that since I have known them.
And since Stuart has been facing the city's physical challenges that he's faced it. If Stuart was the face and the voice of the ministry. Laverne has been the hands and feet of ministry. She really has you may or may not know this life is not easy. It is a tough place to live for anyone, and even a dangerous place for many to live, especially for sick missionary spent a tremendous tremendous challenge for them both. It it's been a challenge because because Stuart is not been able to interact with the with the churches as he is. He desired he's not been able certainly not been able to go out to the churches. He's not been able to to train the pastors personally like he longs to to provide for their needs recently the needs of his household is been a real challenge for him to provide for it and complicated. Also by a drought multiple your drought in Zimbabwe, praise God. I think that's kind on the on its way out. They had lots of rain this this rainy season. It's also been complicated by political climate which is already been mentioned crashing economy. Many of the challenges in the country.
To complicate matters for them both at the 2010 extended times when we Laverne was in Zimbabwe and Stuart. Because of this is physical illness had to spend long periods of time in Johannesburg, South Africa for for medical treatment.
We who are in ministry know the immeasurable value of spouse we know the value of a faithful life in terms of Laverne's involvement in the work.
You can't quantify her bag to Stuart and to the work of ministry in Zimbabwe. Many of you may or may not know that that she works outside the home teaching in a a a local school. There and their hometown of the Lamb.
Certainly, to supplement income to provide for the needs of the church that meets on their property. They are in their home or at their home and for the needs of many people, the cultures a little bit different with a live sometimes they have multiple families that live in one area that help to do the work there and the place in the home in both those kinds of things they provide for the needs of many people in their home.
Also, Laverne is worked out out of necessity think she's required to have employment in Zimbabwe to maintain her citizenship. Many of you knew that in terms of the ministry itself. She is been the one in recent years to to visit the churches to greet them on behalf of her husband. She's been instrumental in the in the morale of the churches communicating her in Stuart unwavering commitment.
Sharing words of encouragement to the people who sometimes seem to be hanging on by a thread is tremendously uplifting to the churches to see her firm faith in the Lord through trials now now the Zimbabwe people you may or may not know this or are not typically enamored with white people are just not like some places you on the world and they see American or American white person and and they seem to flock to you that's not the case in Zimbabwe but but you can see when Laverne goes into one of these churches out into the into the bushes on this place. You can see immediately their Lift lifts because as they call her mom has come with a mom, but the color mom I it's amazing how her present seems to lift the morale of the people feel even traveling sometimes to to places like John bag which is a Very Remote Pl. in Zimbabwe before Laverne arrived there.
Many of them had never even seen a white person. The church is again the color mom because they see her in Stuart as their spiritual parents helping would be exaggerating to say that her and Stewart's direct or indirect influence in the gospel is somewhere in the thousands's I witnessed over the times that I've been able to go Laverne's fearless witness there.
Zimbabwe, certainly in places like police checkpoint at one time we first started going about every 10 km you have a police checkpoint Laverne so fearless going through those things because many times they would harass people for for money try to extort people for money and she wishes fearless limit to those places many times even taken a moment to share the gospel witness to some talking to people in stores, engaging people in conversations people that she would meet in the places of employment or places of business restaurants in terms of her relationship to that to the training of the national pastors in an church planning. She's been the one who has actually organized pastors, it's not nightly. The content of the pastors but but securing housing for all the man for the for the week of training, providing sufficient housing with with necessary amenities.
Right opening our home for the times of study organizing the work to provide meals for the man organizing transportation to and from the conference. Not to mention housing in feeding preachers like me go there, not her cooking been there and talk to her about that later. Many of you may be familiar with the with the salmon waffle and certainly if you watch the other documentary that was made that you would recall that that fonts to sit specifically if I named after their their son Simon who just don't want to be with the Lord specifically to support those pastors. It has the burden of of of organizing that support to the salmon while on in these recent years has fallen on Laverne certainly carried the weight of the burden of managing those funds on the Zimbabwe side of things. Again, many of you know the ongoing drought about the ongoing drought in Zimbabwe again. Praise the Lord. Looks like it's finally over. During those times, the people in the churches will greatly suffer greatly suffering. It was Laverne along with her son-in-law Lee daughter Sarah Kate who helped organize the ongoing purchase and distribution division of food for the churches at great personal risk to herself. By the way, you may or may not know that at one point the US dollar was not legal to use it made it illegal to use any other foreign currency but she had.
She had developed such a relationship with some of the store owners and similes that some people maintain these relationships that she was actually able record and not actually able to use US dollars and buy things at wholesale prices in order to maximize our financial resources to buy food to feed the churches in Zimbabwe when they were going through such and such a difficult time.
I can't tell you how many times that she has over the yield years smuggled necessary food and resources for the churches across borders. She is risk your life for the service of Christ and Zimbabwe. No doubt you know this God provides for his people. A man can we aim in that but but God provides for his people through means. In other words he uses the charitable giving and faithful service of his people to do that. Recall your thinking to the church in Jerusalem was going through a drought and famine in the land where they do, they gather resources to help support the struggling brothers and sisters in Jerusalem similar way, we were able to be a part of that Laverne was able organize that by the grace of God to provide the needs of the churches on conveyance without her tireless efforts. Many would've gone hungry and died. I know that Laverne is committed to the ongoing work in Zimbabwe, really, with or without the support of the American churches. I pray I really do I really pray to God that the churches will see the value even though Stewart's no longer with us.
Even though he's not longer your hope that the churches will see continue to see the value of supporting the work. The ongoing work in the necessary work in Zimbabwe. Laverne's committed to that. I know that you're committed that we are churches committed that as well of the other churches will be committed that I had been there I seen the fruit of your gracious gifts sing the fruit of the gracious gifts of the church that that I'm privileged to pastor in Ashburn, North Carolina and and I will say to you it is well worth our estimate support Laverne and the work there and in closing, I ask a another gentleman in our church. You mentioned to school to go Harry Maples adjusted to think about Laverne's role in the work. Let me just give you a short quote from from him. He says he says without Laverne's personal labors are support for the churches in Zimbabwe would've been impossible.
She is indispensable, irreplaceable thing for the hours that day. For some reason impossible indispensable in irreplaceable. She is indeed he says mom's friends, church, family speaking, just want to begin this to be just you and thanking you all for your constant growth in your upliftment and dignity, and encouragement, and for your support over the years for us both in the ministry here and in our walk through on his problems at the end of the Fabian, which is densify us to express my appreciation at all for all that you've done for us and I thank you most sincerely, Stu is gone and he's going to glory and unfairly thrilled for him that he has that for me. My goodness he sniffed a huge huge hole in my life. He was my friend cellmate my mentor. He was an inspiration and serve very very many ways I find facing each day without him.
This is really difficult.
I have to ask for grace and strength over time is last year with very tough had eight centuries in nine months. He was always in pain just the degree noted pain and nausea and Dan. He was in hospital and not of the time.
Much of the time I could be with him and they would give me a special dispensation to be there because they didn't expect him to live that some of the time he would be there. None for 10 days or so and it was hard that the thing that this year has sniffedme is how committed she was to the ministry hangs in. He never stopped feeding the passion for the gospel to go forward and Zen for his pastors and his people.
He wanted to make sure that the churches were well grounded in the truth and that the gospel was constantly and faithfully being preached and he had met how bad he felt that was his priority. He would spend hours and hours in prayer for them. He couldn't be here honey and piston and he would talk and discuss so many plans with me things that he wanted for the future.
He prayed and asked God for a good five years at least, that he may return here and continue with the work that the note did not grant that and stand. He was amazing and that he never questioned his constant illness. He would always say and always feel totally confident in goodness of God and giving him the suffering in the goodness of the know it in all the trials that he had to go through and he just trusted the note in physically with one of it and he said to me many times it's pre-vintage to suffer with and for Christ and God is called us to this relatively again to work. This would faithfully was a great inspiration to me. I must admit there were times when he was in such agony that I would just cry. Note please note in the village to intervene and then look to give us both grace and strength pulled through on this that I am just so thankful to God for the fact that no matter what happens to us in. We know that our loving heavenly father has his hands are nice that we will not be tempted above that we are able that we had given grace and strength to face whatever equals S2 and S2s legacy was exactly that that there he was in agony and a lot of the time he just rejoiced in note. Over time, and his people were very inspired by his testimony. He is buried at Alcan Pappenheim get his daily little cups and the family tent and dad little Dyke awoke to Avery's grave the other day that was absolutely wonderful boys constantly they go in the sand around his great event in the bush and if in every other creature you can imagine walks past him and interact let niches to Papa on his grave and tell them how much they miss him and how much they appreciated his testimony and he said that it's very special because that's the site that is placed at the beginning of our newest little church students testimony touch the lives of an good number of people that have come to the Lord in the nucleus of the brand-new chair which is in a such a mess and I want to continue on with the work yet for us on this God gives me faith and I do thank you again. Each one of you precious precious people for your loving support. I do hope that I may be able to visit you may be focused this year that that is still in the planning stages. Now you would richly place each one of you in our data here to recordings of Stewart himself, being dead yet speaketh literally the first one is an exhortation he gave to our church congregation. A number of years ago from this very pulpit.
The second one is when he sang to us also from this pulpit. They are audio, video, we will listen to them at this time other interesting things without husband tonight and he just summarizes that in if you jump over a chapter with me.
Chapter 2 and mixed-signal Cost. The example of Christ himself, and that will be going onto this number 17.
He says gay and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith. If I if I'm spend as it weighed my blood is pulled out his libation on the audit upon the sacrifice or the victim and the civets of the ministry of your faith if it's in my eye and I know what you faith is. I understand is I know who you are. He says I'm willing to let my blood beat upon, as it would upon the faith that is yours that is evident you Philippians he speaking about. I'm willing to let my blood pour out because of your faith. I'm going to let this light shine even today to be with Christ, for that's gain amazing. He says he says I joy in that.
And I rejoice with you all noticed that would audits individual and collective. It's I know this is you and I know you that I've eaten with you that I prayed with you and had meetings with you that have worked together with me in the gospel and in the student who supported me and and and what the gospel says I know you as a church. I know you I understand you. He says he says I am willing to make my life be pulled out because of that faithfulness that you have.
This is the faith which I'm willing to give my blood is the libation offering upon the often one amazing thing to say he wanted this intimacy is to then says that when I he said I because I want this intimacy is key because unlike the businesses identified know everything he says so that I can know you will state. He says foisted on what no man like-minded, who will actually care for you to think it's all of our nature as brethren to care for each other. It's nature to have tenderness to what he said that he nominates you on the nature that causes us with Christ in us to have a relationship that desires to know about and wants to be involved and is willing to pour out even better life's blood.
For those people that is incorrect. I don't half on Utica for that's wrong.
I do know how far many of Utica is people that I know it's Mick. I do not, I think you would be willing.
I'm confident that she would be one. I know that she would be willing to give your lives for the gospel of Jesus Christ to let your blood pour out upon the altar for the sake of the preaching of the gospel in the southern end in another city in another country, for I know that you not citizens of this will US citizens of the heavenly country. I know that I can be content in whatever state I find myself I know that the second company apprentice. I think I have written this I can be content with lots and all these things posted he understood that because he didn't.
There was things he didn't have to be rich and powerful things. What was the gospel of Jesus Christ and the red you count in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Will you give yourself to it. I am for you to do that. Press toward the mark of the high calling of God. What is that high quality has to be the gospel of Jesus Christ and the sweetness of the fellowship in that gospel. Thank you and all that is in all of the gray magazine and was all in one is by the mind and the design and I see that in you the privilege has been hours to be involved with this trophy of God's grace.
A special special trophy God's grace, led by Boyd mentioned to Simon Laughlin because I almost forgot, receiving an offering for that tonight and I hope you will join me in that place her at the front of the back. We would encourage you to have a part in that.
Well, this is the time that I'm supposed to speak about the legacy of Stuart Wilde but I don't think I'm going to spend much time because because time is marching on.
I will say two things about his legacy number one his legacy in Africa is very conspicuous in the lives of the people there and if you could visit there and see and meet these men see their lives and hear their love for Christ. It's amazing it really is amazing and that's gonna go on by the grace of God that's going to go on.
We trust for many, many, many years to come, but also his legacy is in the example of testimony that he left behind touching the lives of us personally and there are many aspects of his life. The that stand out to me and I'm not going to be able to elaborate on this. Many of them as I had planned, but I will mention in the first place that the love of Christ in this dear brother was so conspicuous he loved the Lord the love the word he loved people he loved, especially the people of Zimbabwe. He loved his wife Vernon Stewart had a very close and special relationship. Some of wonder, how could they maintain a strong marriage being separated like they were for many months many years so if you put it all together like assure you that wasn't easy and I can assure you that that was not their choice.
But I can assure you of two things.
Number one, their love for each other only grew stronger. If you could talk to Stuart you would know that Laverne was a love of his life and he was just as much in love with her. At the end of his life as he was when they were young people romantically in love with one another. Probably more so than hers the same way. He was not one of these people who I think mistakenly and this is a very strong sentiment in our day mistakenly said that the home and marriage comes before work of Christ is a strong concept scripturally.
I think it's hard to sustain when you hear some of the words of Jesus commands not willing to leave father and mother and husband and wife and son and daughter for my sake is not worthy of millions of.
Obviously we we have a very special relationship with our family and we must fulfill our responsibilities to it but are responsibility to Christ always comes first in the mind of Stuart and Laverne as difficult as it was, they were willing to make that kind of sacrifice. Yes, Laverne could have gone to South Africa and then by Stewart's side. Virtually all of the time during his illness. But if she had done that the work in Zimbabwe would have suffered. In fact, who knows only God knows how it would have been sustained without her there. And so it was their choice. It was their decision that she would remain there and they would be willing to be separated as difficult as it was because their love for Christ was first in their love for one another was amazingly strong. The piece that filled Stewart's heart.
In spite of all the suffering and the recognition that he was always just one step away from death.
But his heart was filled with peace and joy. I never heard him complain, never all the times I've talked with his persevering faithfulness to Christ and to the work of the gospel is a legacy that certainly will encourage and strengthen me in gentleness that we been talking recently about the apostle Paul in his meekness and gentleness for some people expected him to commit Laika strong, strong, powerful ruler and Paul just refused to do that. He said that's not the spirit of Christ.
I can be powerful as needed and don't you doubt it shape up.
I will come in with the power of Christ and disciplined you and tracing you until you get back in line, but my general demeanor is one of gentleness, meekness that was Stuart to his self-discipline from a human standpoint it's difficult, even impossible to explain how he lived so many years with his liver disease, the doctors and told them years ago.
He only had two or three years to live in Lessig, a liver transplant hereafter here after year continued to go but because we know that that was the grace of God, sustaining him but I tell you the other side was that man was as disciplined in life and diet in the things he needed to do as any person I've ever known from ever having you in our house one time and I offered him a glass of grape juice with a little bit of pomegranate juice mixed in. As I did I do that I liked mix of student directed. I offered to what's in that if I did drink it. Probably I don't know.
Probably was not his list of things he should've been drinking most people could not have been this self disciplined and strict with their diet with the regiment as he was, but he did it for the sake of the gospel to have as many years to spend in the gospel as possible and filter human standpoint that's how he managed to live on. Year after year after year after year after year after the doctors and said that's not possible. There he was, if you live to live to think is but birthdays in March. I have with his number would've been 74 that I do with what you March 13, 1947. His winnings board. The lived about a month and 1/2, about six more weeks, he would've reached his 74th year and again knowing his hepatitis C and liver damage. Just shake your head how did that happen out of that happened well overall. That happened because God sustained him but he was incredibly self disciplined, in fact, what I'm describing for you. I'm going to read about Galatians chapter 5 but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such there is no law.
Here's a man in which a strip fruit of the spirit was abundant and conspicuous, and that's the legacy that he leaves for us press on in Christ press on and growing in grace and knowledge press on unit the work of the gospel press on in developing Christ likeness in your life.
Press on in developing the fruit of the spirit within you. That's what he would say to us today.
Thank you father for giving us the privilege of knowing and partnering with this servant of yours. Please receive all honor and glory from the service tonight and from the life of this dear man we pray in Jesus name, amen.
All hail the power of Jesus name. Let angels prostrate fall bring forth the royal diadem, and crown him Lord and now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling into present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy to God our Savior, who alone is wise, glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever