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A Dream Realized
It’s not too late. If you are a senior, you can fulfill your dream and have a huge impact on the mission field.

"Sarah, your dream will be fulfilled.  You will have a baby!"  The Lord’s message to Sarah was amazing.  It should have filled her heart with raise and adoration but instead she laughed.  “I am too old!” she exclaimed derisively.  How about you?  Do you think you are too old to have your “baby”?

Come in your imagination to Cambodia where “the Sarah’s” are not laughing but living their dreams.

Meet:  Linda who at 70 is executive director of Prison Fellowship; Lorraine who at 68 runs a drop=in centre for old people in Phnom Penh; Marion who at 67 heads up a fruit processing plant that hires handicapped land mine victims so they can be gainfully employed, and pastor Cloud who at 72 was the pastor of the International Christian Assembly uintil failing health stopped him.

Then there’s Jim and Agnes aged 68 and 70 who continue on with church planting ministries and encouraging local Cambodian pastors; Frank, who at an age when most people are retired, manages a catering service and restaurant for a Christian NGO; Joyce who at 76 continues to teach; Ruth who, instead of retiring, runs an orphanage with 40 children, including several babies to whom she is giving hands-on care and Lesley who commutes back and forth from Australia to Cambodia where she is involved with an orphanage,, Sunshine House.  Peter and Kathy as part of that same orphanage manage House of Progress where older kids from Sunshine House live and get training and Father Jim, a spiritual father to many, is in charge of the NGO Maryknoll.  Most of these people began their missionary service when they were at least 60 years old.

Come see the beautiful orphanage run by a Catholic couple, John and Kathy, who – spurning the idea of retiring – are choosing instead to stay in Cambodia to supervise the care of 200 AIDS-positive orphans.  They plan to live here with the kids until they die.

And come to Place of Rescue where 130 children call me Gramma, young women with AIDS smile at me gratefully for their care, and 11 elderly grannies praise God every day because they are lovingly cared for in their golden years.  Like my Catholic friends, I too hope to be here for a good while yet.

Perhaps the dream of going to a foreign field in your golden years is a dream that is too big. Maybe teaching English short-term or offering some other support to missionaries is a better fit for you.  That’s what Sue and Stew do, coming for months at a time to help local missionaries.  Look into your heart.  Is there an unfulfilled dream there?  Perhaps it is a dream that your loving heavenly Father put there when He created you.  He is the dream giver and He is the one who makes our dreams come true and causes us to laugh with pleasure instead of unbelief – no matter how old we are.

MissionFest Toronto will be held from March 6 to 8, 2008, at the Toronto Congress Centre, 650 Dixon Road.  For more information, visit the MissionFest website:

Marie Ens (who is 73) will be speaking at MissionFest 2008.

Originally published in MissionFest Toronto Magazine, 2008.




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