By Rohan Hector (Richland Park Church of Christ, SVG)
Richland Park Church of Christ, on Thursday March 20, 2014, hosted a surprise thanksgiving fellowship in celebration of the 91st birthday of sister in Christ, Advira McCoy, who is affectionately known both within the brotherhood and also her community as "Sister McCoy." Brethren, relatives and friends marked the milestone with song, prayers of thanksgiving and tributes to McCoy, whose efforts in the early 1980s are largely responsible for the congregation.
TRIBUTE by Rohan Hector
George Burns (1896-1996) lived to be 100 years old. He said, "By the time you're 80 years old you've learned everything. You only have to remember it." If only he had known our Mother McCoy - 91 years of age and still has a mind as sharp as a 20 year old. She remembers vividly her past, trials, struggles, visions for the future, dreams, and accomplishments. If you don't believe me, just sit with her for a few minutes and you will get 90 plus years of history.
It is said: "At age 20, we worry about what others think of us. At age 40, we don't care what they think of us. At age 60, we discover they haven't been thinking of us at all." Ann Landers (1918-2002). For most people, as they get older, they move away from the egocentric concerns of youth to a more realistic perception of adulthood and aging. In other words they come to the realization that they are not the center of the universe. It is evident that Mother McCoy's life never revolved around herself. Her life was characterized by acts of service above self. She had no formal skills or training in missionary work - just a love for Christ and the saving of the souls.
Mother McCoy's story is one that is etched in the forefront of our minds. Her humility ought to be emulated. This world has seen many great leaders whose life and work speak for themselves. We recently mourned the lost of one - Nelson Mandela. In this little village, on this little island, we are here tonight in the presence of greatness. Mother McCoy has taught us that aging is not the lost of youth, but the gaining of a new stage of opportunity and strength.
The Richland Park church as your children, as Proverbs 31:28 says, will rise up tonight and call you blessed. We love you, we appreciate you and we celebrate with you as a woman of great character and courage - our very own MOTHER McCOY.
WISDOM OF 'MOTHER McCOY'
"I love my brethren. [Anywhere] I turn - go here, I go there - I meet my brethren, I love them. I love people. And because God says, 'We must love,' if we do not love their ways, never mind, love them. Because without God, we [are] nothing. And I'm always glad. When I was in Trinidad, the only [time] I didn't go to worship is when I [felt] sick. It was a joy for me to love my brethren and to love people. And I know my God [is] always helping me to keep up the good work. Because, I know that when He takes me from this world, I will be with my God. I will be with Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son. And that's what we all must do. We must think about Him. We must love Him. We must tell others about Him."