Since originally posting the amazing stories of Joyce Oxnard and Betty Milne Anderson, we had the joy of hearing from Betty with an update of what they’ve been up to since our blog story ended. We’re honoured to hear these stories and see the incredible faithfulness and humble generosity of these two leaders–loving the Lord with all their hearts, souls, minds, and strength by serving and witnessing to the people of Canada. Enjoy this continuation of the story straight from Betty’s keyboard! ~Cailey
When we first became involved with the BUWC (CBWC) the term “Church planting” was new to us and I think to many churches in the denomination. So many changes and such exciting ones.
While it’s true that Argyle Road Baptist Church was our last assignment in the sense of church planting or Interim ministry, we weren’t done yet! While we were in Regina we were called to serve in Yorkton, SK. They had been without a pastor for considerable time after the retirement of Rev. Daykin who had ministered there for 24 years. I think there was difficulty finding someone who would follow such a long time of ministry because historically, pastors stayed for a short time following a lengthy ministry. When we were called, a member of the Search Committee stated that we were the last resort! We served in Yorkton for five years and felt that the Lord blessed us and the church during that time. After that we spent the next year in Inuvik after which Joyce officially retired.
I wasn’t quite ready for retirement and in 1998 I was called to First Baptist Church in Saskatoon as Part Time Associate Pastor. Blake Anderson was the Senior Pastor who retired early to care for his wife who was dying of cancer. Joyce assisted me with providing Pastoral care for a few months until our new Senior Pastor, Paul Matheson, arrived in 2000. Official retirement for me was in August, 2003.
A new phase of ministry and service opened up for me when Blake and I were married the next year and we have been involved in the Lord’s work in various ways ever since.
Unfortunately Joyce has been struggling with Alzhiemer’s Disease for the last few years and we have been her Caregivers. Frequently she says, “We have been so blessed. God has provided everything we need.” A true statement of faith even in the midst of memory loss and confusion and one which I agree with completely.
Our lives certainly don’t end at retirement. Even in her confusion and uncertainty with Alzheimers, Joyce frequently says, “I wish there was some way we could still serve the Lord. Do you think the three of us could start a church somewhere?”
I remind her that praying may be what the Lord wants us to do just now. And that might be the most important.