Retired missionary: ‘Thank you from bottom of my heart for giving, praying’

In the early 1940s I had been looking for several years for the best way to please and honor Jesus on His birthday. I found the answer when basic training for the Army brought me to Alabama (Fort McClellan) in 1946.

The Lord led me to First Baptist Church, Jacksonville, where I got acquainted with Southern Baptists.

Among other things (including beautiful Alabama girls, one of whom I married and with whom I will soon celebrate our 70th wedding anniversary) I was very impressed with the Cooperative Program and Lottie Moon Christmas Offering (LMCO).

During and after my education at Howard College (now Samford University) in Birmingham and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, my wife, Maxine, and I were privileged to serve churches in Jefferson, Clarke, Wilcox and Calhoun counties. I was privileged to lead our churches in giving generously and sacrificially to LMCO, little knowing we would one day be the beneficiaries.

But praise the Lord He gave us each a call to foreign missions, me in 1952 and Maxine in 1957. We were approved by the Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) in July 1958 and served in Thailand from 1958 to 1994.

Since then we have been retired and living in Anniston and were active at our church, Parker Memorial Baptist, until 2009 when Maxine was afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease and I became her full-time caregiver.

Maxine is now 93 and I am soon to be 89. We want to express our thanks to our Southern Baptist brothers and sisters for your faithful (and often sacrificial) support for us for almost 60 years. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your giving and praying for us and all our fellow missionaries.

Bob and Maxine Stewart
Anniston, Ala.