Wanda: a Story of a Faithfully Lived Life
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
At our after-church Bible study, I went up to a woman and thanked her for giving us a wonderful testimony of a life lived fully with faith. Each Sunday after church, one hundred or so people gather for this Bible study group. It is definitely the largest I have ever attended. Each Sunday, one person gives a short testimony about their life.
This particular Sunday it was Wanda’s turn.
As I greeted Wanda after the Bible study ended, I noticed how frail she was. She walked with a cane, and her skin told the story of a woman whose earthly body was wearing down. But in her eyes, I saw a humble and joyous woman. Each time I told her that I was amazed at what she had accomplished, she said, “It wasn’t me; it was our Lord working within me.” She took no credit for anything that had happened in her wonderful life.
She had been very nervous speaking to this large group.
Her mouth was still dry as she talked with me, revealing exactly how nervous she had been. She confided that up to the moment she started speaking, she was sure she would fail. With a silent prayer, she started talking and held the audience’s attention throughout her riveting talk. Again, when I told her what a marvelous speaker she was, she said, “It was God and not me.”
When Wanda had first gotten married, she and her husband decided they would devote their lives to helping others and joined a missionary group that served in the States. First, they went to Colorado Springs for one year of training and received their certificates to be missionaries. Their early life was hard, with little in the way of financial resources, yet they continued.
They went to San Diego and worked in a house that harbored the poor. Wanda was a cook, cleaning lady, and baby sitter. Her husband was a general fix-it person. To supplement their income, her husband went to work with General Dynamics.
Later, she heard of a man who also worked as a missionary whose wife had died and left him with three young children. Through prayer, she felt that God was asking her to help this man with his children. She talked with her husband who, coincidently, had the same thing on his heart. So they approached the leaders of their missionary organization and mentioned they were willing to help him. They replied, “Thanks, but he is going to have a nurse help him.”
But Wanda had felt, through prayer, that God wanted her and her husband to help this man. She also felt that God had told her that she and her husband would have a child after they were done. By that time, Wanda and her husband had been married for seven years and had no children.
It looked bleak for them to be able to raise a family.
A couple of weeks later, the mission group called to say that the man could use their help after all. Wanda and her husband moved in at the mission where the widower was staying. For a couple of years, Wanda took care of the children while her husband and the widower worked in the mission.
When her assignment was over, she got a call that a young sixteen-year-old was about to have a baby and wanted to give the child up for adoption. They asked Wanda if she would care for the infant until adoptive parents could be found. She said yes. They took the baby, and her husband went back to work at General Dynamics. She applied to adopt the baby herself, and the mission she had been working for provided the money for legal help. After a few months, she and her husband became the child’s adoptive parents.
Later, another adopted child arrived.
Wanda now had the family she’d always wanted. Her husband got promoted and was transferred to Fort Worth, Texas, where he continued his climb up the corporate ladder. They lived there, raising their two children for thirty-four years.
Their children grew up and had kids of their own. Both ended up in the mountains of western North Carolina. When Wanda’s husband retired, they moved to Asheville to be with her children and grandchildren.
Today, Wanda has been married for sixty-six years and has grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She has never stopped helping others. Through her church, she worked on many missions. Even today, at nearly ninety years old, she stills works for the Lord.
Wanda is frail today and slowing down, but her eyes are still bright. She will only thank God for the wonderful life she has led. While younger versions speed around and build their own lives, Wanda stays in the fortress of the life she built with God.
Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman