On Tuesday May 15th I was glad to go to the New Wine group in the morning. We had a time of prayer and sang fellowship songs, a number of which I did not know; however I found myself led along by the other group members. I like the quiet worshipful time of praise and prayer.
In the afternoon I went to Monica Cundall’s funeral. She was a local preacher for 50 years and the mother of a friend of mine, Dr David Cundall a retired paediatrician. He is married to my friend Pamela, who went to school with me. The late Dr Cundall senior went out as a missionary doctor with his wife Monica, as he had a calling. David his son also went out as a missionary with his wife Pamela and two children; their third child Anna was born in Meru. Now as a retired doctor is involved with Nigerian Health Care and goes out for three week intervals with other medical people at their own expense to advise healthcare workers in Nigeria. They have shown the midwives how to nurture new born children to improve their survival rate. Pamela was a Pharmacist before she retired.
The thanksgiving service took place at Woodlands Methodist Church and was led by Rev. Christine Gillespie. She welcomed us to the service and we sang ‘For the beauty of the earth’. I John 4.7-12 and Galatians 5.22-25 were read. David Cundall talked about his mother, in particular her quiet studious faith. Apparently Monica had found the missionary life in Africa a trial, but was ready to support her husband as a missionary doctor. The second hymn was chosen especially as it summed up Monica’s life and service as a wife, mother, mother-in-law and granny. I had not known this hymn but I recognised it as a fitting tribute to Monica:
‘Father, I know that all my life
Is portioned out for me,
And the changes that are sure to come
I do not fear to see;
But I ask thee for a present mind,
Intent on pleasing Thee.
I ask Thee for a thoughtful love,
Through constant watching wise,
To meet the glad with joyful smiles,
And wipe the weeping eyes,
And a heart at leisure from itself
To soothe and sympathise.
Wherever in the world I am,
In whatso’er estate,
I have a fellowship with hearts
To keep and cultivate,
And work of lowly love to do
For the Lord on whom I wait.’
Those verses seemed most apt to me. Her eldest son, Edward Cundall said a Baha’i prayer, which his wife sang. Christine gave the tribute for Monica before she led the prayers and the Lord’s Prayer. The final hymn was ‘O Thou who camest from above.’ We were invited to join the family and friends in the church hall afterwards. It was good to meet more of Pamela and David’s family.