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My reaction

By Laura Kyte
  • Marjory Foyle |
  • 555 People are praying for this

    ‘Laura, would you be happy to put something together in celebration of Dr Marjory Foyle’s 100th birthday?’

    As my eyes scrolled through several email chains that had been created whilst away from my desk in August, I began to realise the significance of what I was being asked to do. I sensed how highly she was regarded not only by other former Interserve Partners, but also by those impacted by the pioneering work she did in the area of looking after the mental health and well-being of missionaries. I began to wonder if I was up to the task of creating something worthy of such a lady; it was clear that Marjory was no ordinary woman! And yet she was just that: an ordinary woman who placed herself in the hands of an extraordinary God, willing to trust Him with all that she had and all that she was.

    I sat down to read Can It Be Me? as I wanted to get to know Marjory as best as I could from her own words. As someone passionate about mental health and with a brief decade of experience in cross-cultural ministry, I was excited to get stuck in. As I have become more in touch with my own humanity and fragility in recent years, I have looked more closely at those ‘heroes of the faith’ in Hebrews 11. Their faith is praised but this does not mean that they were flawless, whether through physical, emotional or spiritual weakness. This did not prevent or deter the Lord from meeting with and calling them in their humanity and brokenness, whatever that looked like.

    Laura Kyte

    This was what I most loved about Marjory’s book, affirmed by those who know her best. God took Marjory on an incredible journey that has resulted in a whole new approach to the issues of stress and well-being in relation to cross-cultural workers. Yet I see no striving in Marjory to make any of this happen, in that she did not set out to ‘achieve’ things for God. I see a woman who gave her life, time and resources to God in a way that recognised her humanity but did not limit Him. She was honest with herself and with others about what she could take on and who she was. She celebrated what she was good at and put this into action, rather than lament what she felt she lacked. She learned to identify emotional triggers and explore the root cause of them. I see a woman who recognised our emotional side to be just as important and worthy of care as our spiritual and physical side; all are interlinked and need care as part of God’s mandate to love others as yourself. Reading Marjory’s book affirmed several recent thoughts in my mind as I have reflected on my own experiences overseas, and my own tendencies in the physical, emotional and spiritual domain. I have been challenged by how often I have equated ‘serving God’ with keeping going to the point of exhaustion; was I perhaps just feeding my own ‘need to perform’? . At the same time, it is equally unhelpful to grab a big spiritual stick and start punishing myself for what I ‘should have/would have/could have’ done. Now it is done, and it is time to show grace. If I cannot extend grace to myself, how can I extend it to those around me? After all, isn’t this where our joy and freedom in Christ comes from?

    Thank you Marjory for sharing your story; a true heroine of the faith, with strengths and weaknesses like the rest of us. Thank you for such a practical demonstration of what following Jesus looks like, of simply trusting that He is leading when things are not clear. The supernatural breaks into day-to-day life in small but significant (extra-ordinary!) ways. Marjory, you have enabled God to bless so many people through your quiet but determinedly firm resolve to follow Jesus, leaving a legacy for many generations to come. You story is still being written, one hundred years later, and until Christ returns. Happy 100th birthday Dr Marjory Foyle!

    Thank you for commiting to praying

    Your prayers make a difference! Thank you for praying to see transformation in the lives and communities of Asia & the Arab World.

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