Margaret Akin is not your typical octogenarian. She works at least 20 hours a week as secretary at Temple Baptist Church in Shawnee, Oklahoma, leads a weekly women’s Bible study, cooks for funeral dinners, and is the beloved matriarch to a 68 member family including another great-grandchild on the way.
Mission work is not new to my mother. Her own mother and grandmother taught WMU, an organization which supports missions, and her sisters were also involved, one, Carol Anglin was Director of Northwest Woman’s Missionary Union for many years. All of her daughters have been on several mission trips, and the legacy lives on down to her great-grandchildren, three of whom just returned from mission trips to Nicaragua. But she had never been on a trip herself.
When a mission trip to Fort Garland, Colorado, Gateway to the San Luis Valley became available, Mom considered it. The target was a newly planted church with about thirty members which meets at a restaurant that closes for Sunday services. A year ago, Laura and Lawrence Guest, a couple from Temple Baptist, moved to Fort Garland to help start the church. The town is very small, and as one mission trip member quoted, “It has 3 marijuana stores and 3 empty churches.” Nestled in a beautiful valley, the nearby Great Sand Dunes are the tallest in North American. Also Kit Carson was once stationed in the valley where a Civil War battle was fought.
Mom worried that she might hold the group back because of her age, but she signed up to go anyway, the dream of a lifetime. Her job was to teach VBS children Bible verses, so with her daughter Kay’s help, she made several crafts for each day. Her favorite part of the trip was watching the kids learn the verses through games and crafts. For example, they made hearts to spell out the words, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son . . .”
Beautiful white hair and pale blue eyes becomes Mom and she gets more beautiful every year. This year God used her kind, sweet caring spirit to help others on a mission trip. She loves to travel and enjoyed the mountains. But mostly, she was glad she did not fall behind the other members. She even hiked up to the first crest of the sand dunes!
Mom, through her awesome faith, has been such an inspiration to me and many others.
I worried she might be exhausted after the trip, but she came back rested and refreshed. Obviously God meant for her, an elderly woman, to go on that mission trip and who knows, maybe go on many more trips!