Archive for January 21st, 2023


Written by Paul Estabrooks, a contemporary author and speaker. He has written extensively about persecuted Christians.

As I share with numerous audiences my experiences from years of ministry in Asia, I often try to drive home the point that the Church in China teaches us that you can never be too young and never too old to serve Jesus. Our Western church culture marginalizes youths until they have finished some level of higher education. And even worse, we marginalize those who are retired as now being “over the hill” and only fit to sit in a rocking chair for whatever years remain for them. But repeatedly in the Old Testament, there are references to the elderly “still bearing fruit in old age!” And the persecuted church is replete with stories and testimonies giving evidence. In 1997 I wrote a booklet titled Great Bible Women of China in which I share the story of five elderly Chinese Bible Women who completed long fruitful lives of service, finishing strong. In his book, Vietnam’s ChristiansA Century of Growth in Adversity, veteran Vietnam missionary, Reg Reimer, shares the remarkable story of diminutive Mrs. Diep Thi Do. She and her pastor husband served as missionaries among the Stieng tribal people for twenty years. Just before Vietnam fell in 1975, her husband was captured by the communists and was never heard from again. She then did not dare do any tribal ministry except pray. In 1981, emerging from the deep underground during the darkest years, she encountered some very discouraged Stieng Christians in the market. They begged her to be their missionary and pastor. She considered this a strong call from God and courageously called the Stieng back into church groups. She often “stared down” resistance from communist authorities. She presided over the building of the largest church sanctuary in Vietnam. She performed all pastoral functions including marrying, burying, appointing leaders and administering the sacraments. Her bravery and her spiritual authority ensured that no one ever challenged her operating essentially as a bishop. Reg Reimer concludes, “She described herself as ‘only a little woman.’ But her faith and trust in God made her a giant in the lives of thousands of Stieng Christians she had served for fifty-five years. More than four thousand came to attend her funeral and celebrate her life when she died at age eighty-four in 2008.” You can never be too old to serve Jesus!


Today’s prayer is written by Moya Hanlen, a contemporary English nun, educator, and canonical consultant.

All Gracious God, you have given me all I am and have, and now I give it back to you to stand under Your will alone. In a special way, I give You these later years of my life. I am one of those called by You into old age, a call not given to all. not given to Jesus, not given to most in our world today. I humbly ask You, grace me deeply in each aspect of the struggle. As my physical eyesight weakens, may the eyes of my faith strengthen, that I may see You and Your love in everything. As my hearing fails, may the ears of my heart be more attentive to the whisper of Your gentle voice, As my legs weaken and walking becomes more difficult, may I walk more truly in Your paths, knowing all the while that I am held in the embrace of your love. As my mind becomes less alert and memory fades may I remain peaceful in You, aware that with You there is no need for thought or word. You ask simply that I be there, with you. And should sickness overtake me and I be confined in bed, may I know myself as one with Your Son as he offers his life for the salvation of the world. Finally, as my heart shows a little after the work of the years, may it expand in love for You and all people. May it rest secure and grateful in Your loving Heart until I am lost in You, completely and forever. Amen. 

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