For those of us here in the US, today is Memorial Day, a day in which we remember those who have died serving in the armed forces. I would guess that most cultures have days in which they remember important people or important groups of people. Recognizing sacrifice seems to be a nearly universal trait. While I could certainly talk about the many family members who have served in the military (mostly during WWII), I want to remember people who have made a different type of sacrifice. (Side note: Most of these people are all still alive).
George and Polly Jones–My Grandparents
George and Polly, or Papa and Mema, are truly incredible people. Over the last few years, it seems I have heard a new, incredible story, every time I am with them. Most recently, they were telling about their 30+ visits to Europe. During one of those visits, they sneaked Bibles in to (then) communist Hungary. They spoke nonchalantly as if it were a normal, everyday activity. They brought up this particular story after hearing that I was going to Budapest this summer. They didn’t mention other instances of sneaking Bibles in anywhere, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they had other times.
Horace and Carol Sue Perkins–My Grandparents
Horace and Carol Sue, or Grandpa and Grandma, spent much of their lives in ministry. Grandpa played the piano on the radio on Morning Cheer in Philadelphia, and Grandma sang. They also traveled around performing at churches, were involved in the creation of Sandy Cove, ran the Morning Cheer bookstore, and more. Sadly, Grandpa died in 1988. I only have a few memories of my own with him, but I know he was well loved by all. Grandma, while still alive, had a stroke several years ago. She is living in a nursing home near my aunts, one of which works at that home. I try to go up and see her when I can.
Drummer J is someone I met just a few weeks before leaving Atlanta. Shortly after I left Atlanta, he also left and moved to China, where he has been for the last year and a half or so. He left friends and family behind to become a full time missionary, which is why I’m not using his real name. You can read more about who he is and his work here. He spends his time mentoring youth, teaching music lessons, raising up new worship leaders, playing in a band, and much more. He felt called to China, and so he went. Drummer J is also someone I support financially on a monthly basis. I believe in the work that he is doing and the impact he will have on the lives of those around him.
These people that I have written about are not special. In fact, I don’t really think they see any of what they have done as a sacrifice, which is what makes them extraordinary. They simply did what they were called to do. Were questions asked? Of course! Ultimately, though, they trusted God.