Honouring Those Who Honoured Him
by the Khng family
Starkey Road Baptist Church, Largo Florida, held a service last year to honour five pastors’ wives whose husbands are at home with the Lord. These Christian women had served alongside their husbands ‘with effectiveness, faithfulness and distinction. Each of them was a vital part of ministries that God blessed with great abundance.’
What a testimony!
The Khngs have had the rare privilege of knowing one of these great men of God and his beloved wife when the Lord first allowed our paths to cross nearly 14 years ago. Though we were ‘strangers and pilgrims’ in their land, they literally took us into their ‘heart and home’ and figuratively into their hearts.
We first became acquainted with Dr William Ward Ayer’s ministry through his newsletter, ‘The Marching Truth’. Reading the articles written by him was one thing, but meeting him, face-to-face, was quite another. We were a little awed at first. However, he soon made us feel relaxed, by his easy going hospitality.
The very next day, ‘Doc’ personally gave us a ‘walking tour’ of his house. Coming from a HDB 4-roomed flat, we were rather overwhelmed by the size of the house; it was a huge, sprawling bungalow, akin to a small museum, we thought. His study room, evidently his pride and joy, occupied nearly half the house. Proudly, he showed us his collection of books, books and more books, sermon notes, half-finished manuscripts of a book to be completed and other memorabilia. His library was indeed a treasure grove for a young seminary-student-to-be. When ‘Doc’ asked John if he could use some of his sermon notes and outlines, John, being ‘so Asian’, felt embarrassed to say, ‘Yes’ outright. Dr. Ayer, being ‘so American’ took his ‘refusal’ graciously, and so we lost the opportunity of owning some of his sermon notes. (Much later, on reflection, we realised he was indeed genuine about his offer. We should have learned to receive a gift graciously and give the giver the blessing that is promised him in Acts____)
Mrs Barbara Ayer with her soft, silver-gray hair, twinkling eyes, and a great sense of humour won our hearts from the onset. She earned the grand title of ‘Phor Phor’ (grandma) from little Nathaniel who was about three years old then. That name has stayed with our children. She was ‘Phor Phor’ and ‘Mom’ all rolled into one. She exemplifies the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31, who ‘openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.’ (v.26)
Each year as we commemorate an anniversary of Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, our thoughts would invariably go to her. She believes in us and she has stayed with us, through good and bad times in our lives. She prays for us daily. Through the years we have known her, Mom Ayer has shown herself to be a ‘friend and encourager’ to the Khngs, as she was to her husband, Dr William Ward Ayer. She is a partner-in-prayer of our ministry in Singapore.
In reprinting the following article, we would like to remember and honour our dear friends, ‘Doc’, who is now with the Lord, and Mom Ayer who is still serving the Lord faithfully in Largo, Florida, U.S.A despite suffering bad back spasms and having to undergo painful therapy ‘indefinitely’.
Mrs Ayer’s vibrant testimony and faithful service to the Lord should put us younger folks to shame. We so often give excuses that our work and study commitments hinder us from having time to serve the Lord. Mom Ayer, at twice our age, hasn’t quit yet – there is no retirement from Christian service, as long as one has life and breath.
‘Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.’ Proverbs 31:25
(Christ Our Lord, Church Anniversary Magazine 4)
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