I was saddened to find out that my uncle passed away recently. My heart and prayers go out for his wife and my aunt Dr. Billie Davis. Rev. George Davis for all my life was a missionary with the Assemblies of God. Now, I probably have a seriously skewed view point of him so you will have to put up with that perspective here, for I have always been proud of my aunt and uncle Davis — actually, all my aunts and uncles are great! I do have a great family.
Unlike many missionaries that focus on missions work to one or a few related countries or societies, my uncle was, at least to me, “the missionary to the whole of Central and South America” and later “to the world” through his work with the International Correspondance Institute, now a part of the “Global University.” His wife of course worked right along side of him and supported him greatly even when she was pursuing other endeavors (for example, she retired as a professor at Evangel University, my alma mater).
I remember fondly the stories he would tell of God’s greatness protecting him as he flew around Central and South America in his plane delivering Sunday School materials, other supplies, and general support to the other missionaries. Especially in the 60’s and 70’s, getting around South America in a bush plane wasn’t easy. Finding landing strips and fuel was just a part of the difficulties he faced. Yet God was always there, directing him to the right place or directing others to him to help him.
My aunt and uncle Davis have given me a personal feeling for missionaries. We often look at the missions work and see how important that is and overlook the missionaries themselves, as people with needs, wants, and desires. It is so important for us to provide all kinds of support to our missionaries, not only the ones out in the field but also those here in the States seeking support for them to get into the field and especially for our retired missionaries. Don’t just send money and pray for them (and please do that!). Write to them, encourage them, and be there for them.