This past week I attended the funeral for 87-year-old Mission Service Corps Missionary Pauline White. Ms. Pauline left her home in Sebring, Florida on March 1, 2003 and came to “feed the sheep” as she called it, in the mountains of eastern Kentucky. Her ministry to families in Harlan County, Kentucky lasted nearly 15 years.
In 2002, while listening to a sermon at the First Baptist Church of Sebring, Ms. Pauline heard about an 86-year-old woman who was still serving God. “See, you still have at least 14 years to go,” the Holy Spirit seemed to whisper. “Yes, Lord, send me!” Pauline answered.
Later, she read an article in a North American Mission Board publication about the needs of a ministry in Cumberland, Kentucky. So moved by the article, Ms. Pauline sold her house, moved to Kentucky, and began her own 14+ year ministry. And, just as God had spoken, she served until she was 86 years old, just a few days shy of her 87th birthday.
Ms. Pauline directed Shepherd’s Pantry, a ministry that provided food to 500+ low income families each month. In addition to food boxes, the families were also given personal hygiene items, snack food, and treats for the kids. Gospel tracts were placed in each food box and Ms. Pauline was very intentional to share the Gospel message with those she served.
Many local volunteers worked alongside Ms. Pauline at the Pantry, and mission teams from other areas of Kentucky and other states came, many times bringing truck loads of food and hygiene items for distribution. Ms. Pauline’s home church in Sebring, Florida and volunteers from London, Kentucky were also big supporters and volunteers at the ministry.
Pastor Dennis Williams of Cumberland Missionary Baptist Church very fittingly shared from Matthew 25:34-40 at the funeral service.
“ Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
Ms. Pauline, you committed your life to the Lord, remained faithful to the end, and have now “inherited the kingdom prepared for you.” Thank you for coming to Kentucky. Many children and families were changed physically and spiritually by your faithful service. You were loved and will be missed.