On Friday 28th February, I had the honour of attending the funeral of a man who played an important role in my life. (It was great to be able to have time with Tim, Daniel and Sharon after the service) I believe I knew him around I was 5 as the local minister of the church our family attended at Bowraville, and then when I was 21 I travelled to Katherine in the NT where I was blessed to be able to attend the church he ministered at with his life Elizabeth. During my time in Katherine I grew up in my faith, was baptised and with Elizabeth and Sharon his daughter, he encouraged me in leading worship. A highlight was travelling to Thailand and Myanmar with him and Danny to work with the local churches and do outreach in many places with puppets and drama.
In the service, I found out many things about Jim that was both encouraging and helped me understand more of who he was. Some things I was very encouraged by:-
He Knew Jesus - Jim had an encounter with Jesus at 19 and since that day his life has been about serving Jesus. He gave up his love of surfing and football to enter the ministry. His whole life was about knowing God and serving Him.
God had a plan for his life. It was interesting that he nearly died when he was young, and his mother prayed to God and said that if he lived then she would dedicate him to God to become a minster. Jim did not know this until the day of his ordination.
Jim's heartbeat was the same as God's. When people encountered Jim, they had a taste of who God was through the way Jim lived, related to God and others.
Jim made earthly sacrifices for the Kingdom of God - The grandchildren shared that they missed their grandfather while he was a missionary over in Laos and Thailand. His children missed him as well. Interestingly, they did not feel cheated as God gave them special times with them when he returned and they all knew how special they were to him. Even though he was away so often, he was able to reconnect with family during the last years of his life. The whole family understood how important the ministry was to the people God has placed him with and they believed the sacrifice was worth it.
Jim was interested in the person God placed in front of him - It was very interesting that there were stories where Jim would go to very small congregations to preach and even to 1 or 2 people. One story was where he went to a small church where there were his family and a man with his son. He also would connect with the sick, unloved and unwanted and show them compassion and love. Jim was interested in the person God had placed in front of him.
Wherever he went, Jim left a legacy - A number of people shared the impact he had on them through who he was. This included people from Laos, Thailand, Australia and most importantly his family. His life has touched and impacted not only his family but many around the world.
A legacy is the story of some ones life, the things they did, places they went, goals they accomplished, their failures, and more. Legacy is something that a person leaves behind to be remembered by. Legacies are pathways that guide people in decisions with what to do or what not to do
I thank God for Jim's life and the impact he has had in my life and all the people he came in contact. It was an honour to grow up in my faith with Jim as my pastor in two locations. Please continue to pray for the Winslade family as they go through this time of missing their dad, grandfather and friend at this time.
Jim.... RI(H)P - This is what Jim is doing now.... What he has lived his whole life looking forward to!
Rejoicing In His Presence....