Friday, July 07, 2006

He sometimes sees fit to let his choicest servants seal their testimony by laying down their lives in the line of duty (Mavis Pate)

The short dark-haired Mavis Pate had served as a nurse in the famous hospital ship, SS Hope. At her first missionary appointment in 1964, she said, “God has his way to deal with us, and with this obstinate one, it required me there for about a year, to see the need that existed and to help point out to me my part in meeting that need. . . On the basis of that. . . I made the commitment to foreign mission service.”
She first served in Bangladesh, then in Thailand.In 1970, she was sent to a Baptist hospital in Gaza to work in the operating room and be the director of a nursing school. During the Six-Day war in 1967, she and the other missionaries in Gaza were in the most dangerous part of the globe. Many victims were brought to their hospital for treatment.
Nurse Pate was touched by the plight of the 360,000 Palestinians. She visited them in their refugee camps and shared to them her faith in Jesus. She prayed “that we all may be truly surrendered to His will, willing tools in his hand, channels for his blessings, more Christlike than manlike.
One Sunday evening, January 16, 1972, Nurse Pate left with Pastor Ed Nicholas and his three daughters on a short trip to Tel Aviv. After filling some oxygen tanks, she drove back to Gaza with a new car. There was danger of commando attacks from refugee camps, but the missionaries thought that they would be respected because of their neutrality. While on their way, hidden Palestinians opened fire on the vehicles of the missionaries. Pastor Nicholas and one of his daughters were wounded, while Nurse Pate was hit with three bullets. She lived for three more hours in the medical center in Beersheba, where she was brought by helicopter. She died while the doctors are working on her.
Many Palestinians apologized for the incident. They thought that the vehicles were Israeli army vehicles.
In the funeral, the executive director of Nurse Pate’s mission board said in a eulogy:
“We know how urgently a missionary nurse is needed, and how radiantly a life like this shines forth its Christian testimony. We recognize, however, that the Lord of the harvests knows more than we do about the affairs of his work. He sometimes sees fit to let his choicest servants seal their testimony by laying down their lives in the line of duty, and out of it God has a way of bringing sustained advance in the work of his kingdom.
Her silent grave will be a permanent witness to the high calling of God. Missionaries will look at it and remember the great extent to which the missionaries go in order that the love of Christ may be shared.
Non-Christian people will look at it and be reminded of the love of God that sent the Lord Jesus into the world for our redemption, and has continued sending his messengers forth to make salvation known.”


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mavis I believe God lets he choicest servants seal their testimony by laying down their lives in the line of duty, and I believe He spoke through me that day you came to say good-bye to me at the Dacca airport that you were not to leave East Pakistan. I also believe, had you listen to me, you would have lived to continue Gods work.
I thank you for everything you taught me and for supporting me while I lived in Dacca with my family. And, you were part of our family too, as Steven and I fondly called you Aunt Mavis.
Inspite of this my love you and respect for you has continued.
As you are not forgotten.
Always and forever,
Audrey (Jones) Baker

11:17 PM  

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