Chaplain Laura made the announcement at our choir practice that the focus for resident feedback for the month of July is to be “our favorite hymn.” Actually, I have several “favorite” hymns, but the first one that popped into my head was Freely, Freely.
When I was getting ready to retire from Northern Oklahoma College as chair of the Department of Nursing, naturally my thoughts turned to “what do I do next?” I had served as a missionary of the United Methodist Church in Nigeria in my younger years and continued to have a passion for “mission.” I was still very healthy and capable and wondered if the Lord might still have a place for me on the mission field. There was a part of me that kept saying “yes,” but another part seemed to keep questioning if one should pursue such a challenge at 62 years old. I kept praying for guidance.
Then one Sunday, the hymn Freely, Freely was sung, and God let me know that we were singing it as an answer to my prayer. I had been so blessed in my life to have been provided an opportunity for obtaining education and experience in nursing and nursing education. I had been blessed with good health and a love for mission. Truly, I had “freely received.” Why should I NOT say “yes” to God and pursue returning to the mission field and “freely give.”
I reached out to the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church and was assured there was a place for me to return to the mission field as a nurse educator. I was assigned to go to Zimbabwe, Africa, to be in charge of a nursing school that desperately needed a director. What a blessing that was. Once again, “freely” I received. — Delphine Jewell
Words and Music by Carol Owens
God forgave my sin in Jesus’ name, I’ve been born again in Jesus’ name,
And in Jesus’ name I come to you, to share his love as he told me to.
He said, “Freely, freely you have received, freely, freely give.
Go in my name, and because you believe, others will know that I live.