As I prepare for my sister, Amy Coffey, to leave just a few short days with her family as missionaries to South Africa, I have given a lot of thought about my sister and our relationship. With only 3 years between us we have definitely had some up and downs along the way. When we were younger I remember some rough times, like when I would want to borrow her clothes without asking, or when I nearly burnt down our house on her 12th birthday. But as we grew older, It did not take us long to realize what a gift we had of a wonderful friendship that had developed right under our roof. We grew closer, and I began to watch and learn from each step in life she took.
I never realized until now that she was my mentor. One definition of a mentor I found is this : a trusted counselor or guide. There were many times I was eager for her council but many more where even though I did not want to hear what she had to say, I needed to hear it. Her influence and guidance in my life during those key moments has so much to do with where I am today, and that I am able to serve the Lord with my life.
Much of what I learned from Amy was not in a lesson, or book. It was not what she said but more of what she did. I watched her live a pure and Christ honoring life in high school. I saw her save her self for her husband, and date right. I saw her marry her husband and decide to follow him anywhere. She made a decision to follow Mark, by going to the field of Peru, back to the states to start a church, then now to the field of South Africa. As I watched her I tried to do everything I could to be just like her. I went to the same college. I followed her to Peru. We had the opportunity to work together on a team to start Vision Baptist church. But amazingly I realize that these last few steps she has taken in her pursuit to follow God has been what I have learned from the most. Many of you know her story of how her family lovingly brought my two nephews into their home to be there own. A few short months later Addison was born, which made their family grow from four to seven. But most of you could never imagine the challenges she would face spiritually and emotionally during that transition in her life. But she loved, and and worked hard to unite their family, and do everything she could for all five of her children. And now as I watch her in this latest step, where she is following her husband to tell South Africans about Jesus. This time is much different then the first. She has a much larger family, and is packing up her house and life that she has drawn accustomed to for the last eight years. As a friend sent me a quote recently, she is abandoning all in her pursuit to follow Christ.
Our pastor preached as sermon, Faith Trusts God in All Things, a couple weeks ago. One thing he spoke about was that testing is only given to those strong believers who will be able to pass them. As I have watched her face testing, I have seen her press on, and pass these tests. Which has beyond strengthened me and pushed me to become more like her. Job 23:10 “ But he knows the way I take; when he has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”
In our church at Vision our pastor has taught us that mentoring is the key of everything we strive to do. We see Jesus modeling “with-ness” with the disciples as they learned from being “with” Jesus, as we see in Mark 3:14. I have learned so much from just being “with” my sister. I have learned Bible principles, patients, love, long suffering and her manner of life.
Many of you may not realize you have a little set of eyes on you. You may have a daughter, or a little sister, or even just a young lady in your church learning from your every move. From the Bible we learn God’s truth, but by watching other people’s lives we get to see what it looks like lived out.
As a young girl in every new circumstance I would try to mimic how my sister acted. Now as an older woman with kids of our own, I still look to my sister for a model to see how I am supposed to act. Thank you Amy for not letting me down when I looked up to you. Thank you for teaching me the “ good things” as seen is Titus 2:3.
What type of things are we teaching those who are following in our footsteps?