As they retire from the work of The Faith Mission, Trevor and Sandra look back over more than forty years of service for the Lord.
FM: What is your earliest memory of FM work?
Trevor: Attending a children’s meeting, conducted by a couple of FM workers, one of whom was Tillie Thompson, who later became FMBC Administrator. The sense of God’s presence in those meetings was tangible and left an abiding impression.
Sandra: My mother was a former FM worker so our home was a natural “open house” to many involved in FM. The earliest memory I have is of the late Mr and Mrs Ellis Govan who stayed with us while conducting meetings in the area. I still have a picture which they gave me before they went as missionaries to Rhodesia.
FM: What led you to join the work of The Faith Mission?
Trevor: As a teenager, I was privileged to attend many FM meetings. It was our spiritual lifeline. The clear Bible teaching from totally committed workers, delivered in a passionate way, profoundly impacted me. Through this and other means I became very aware of God’s call to Christian service and the model I saw in FM certainly attracted me to FMBC.
Sandra: God spoke to me about Christian service at the Filey Crusade in 1975 through the Great Commission in Mark 16. I wrestled with this call for some time and just could not get away from the words “Go you”. I had no peace until I said the words of Isaiah “Here am I, send me”.
FM: What has been your biggest joy in ministry?
Trevor: The greatest joy in ministry was and still is to preach God’s Word – particularly evangelistic preaching. That joy is even greater when people respond to the gospel.
FM: Is there a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant during your time in FM?
Trevor: There have been several thoroughly satisfying projects but perhaps the development of children’s and youth camps has been the most fruitful. It was our joy to lead the first FM camp in Northern Ireland at the newly constructed camp centre in Portadown in 1984. To then later see three new purpose-built camp centres developed in Ireland over the past twenty years is just thrilling. To God be the glory!
FM: You are passionate about evangelism; how have you kept this as your main focus in Christian ministry?
Trevor: The call to evangelism has never altered. A love for people and a desire to see people truly converted to Christ has only deepened over the years, and the sheer joy of seeing genuine conversions was and is a great motivator.
FM: What advice would you give to young evangelists starting out with FM?
Trevor: Ask God for a tender heart toward the lost. Meditate deeply on Psalm 126:5: ‘Those who sow in tears will reap in joy’. Maintain a good devotional life, read widely to understand the people you are reaching, and always resist discouragement.
FM: What is the greatest blessing and greatest burden of being a wife and mother in full¬time ministry?
Sandra: To receive advice and help from mothers who were walking the same road. The late Mary Peckham walked into our kitchen one day and played with our young family and surprised me with a comment: “Oh these are the barren spiritual years”. Shortly after that visit she and her two daughters left their home in Edinburgh and stayed with our young family to allow me to go to our staff ministry meetings. I will never forget the kindness of many such mothers. My greatest challenge was to find time for my own spiritual development and the burden of family life when Trevor was away from home.
FM: Who is the person who has influenced your life the most?
Trevor: The influence of some great, godly people that we’ve met through FM work has been immense. It is difficult to highlight one, but probably the late Rev K M Buchanan, FMBC principal when I was a student, made the deepest impression. His teaching on and example of real intercessory prayer was absolutely unique.
Sandra: Over the years we’ve had preachers and missionaries staying in our home and on many occasions I was amazed by what God can do with a consecrated life. I can think of many who have influenced my life that I find it difficult to single one person out.
FM: What book, other than the Bible has most influenced your life?
Trevor: It is very difficult to select one book, but ‘Channel of Revival’ by Andrew Woolsey (an account of the life of Duncan Campbell) was a book that created deep spiritual hunger and really deepened my early spiritual life.
Sandra: It’s hard to pinpoint one particular book, but recently I read a book entitled ‘In Season: Embracing the Father’s Process of Fruitfulness’. For me this was a timely read for this season in my life.
FM: As you look back over your life, is there anything you would have done differently?
Sandra: I know I have made mistakes, and probably plenty more that I am unaware of. However I have had a very satisfying, fulfilling, rewarding and enjoyable life and there is nothing significant that I would do differently.
FM: Some have described retirement as the ‘never ending coffee break’. What do you see your retirement as?
Trevor: Wow, what a question! We have reached the point of retirement from FM in a full-time capacity but certainly do not envisage retirement from Christian ministry at this point. Several gospel campaigns are planned for the next couple of years with regular Sunday preaching. However, our family bring us great joy and spending a little more time with them will be a delight!
Sandra: I will still be a wife to Trevor, mother to Avril, Cheryl, Miriam and Ruth-Anne, and grandmother to nine grandchildren. My ministry continues within family and fulfilling ladies ministry commitments. I look forward to this new season in my life and know that God will continue to guide.