My mother turned 70 years old last week. Born Tabitha Mary Meier, she grew up as a missionary kid in Brazil. She speaks four languages and plays the accordion, flute, piano, guitar, and clarinet. She attended college at Anderson University in Indiana and later earned her master's degree at Purdue University. She returned to Brazil to continue the missionary work that her parents started in 1935, and it was there, at a youth convention in 1968, that she met my dad, Martin Kurrle, a young man who had just returned from Germany and was initiating his ministry as a single pastor. They were meant for each other and were married a year later.
Today, after 45 years, four countries (the U.S., Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay), five kids, and several grandkids, they continue loving each other and serving as missionaries in southern Paraguay. Together they have been involved, directly and indirectly, in starting 12 congregations, a school, and a radio station, which until recently was the only Christian station in southern Paraguay. They love the people of Paraguay and have given their lives to spread the good news of Christ in this nation.
As the years go by, mothers get frail, and we often forget their sleepless nights, the dirty diapers, the midnight feedings, the nursing hands, and the countless hours they poured into our childhood years. It’s easy to get busy and have little left for moms who, in spite of their age limitations, are still here to serve for God's purpose. During high school, college, and seminary I spent my time geographically far away from my family, but I thank God for the seasons during which I had the chance to live closer to my mother.
Today I love and admire my mother more than ever. She not only gave her all to us when we were kids but continues to do so by working so that others find hope in Christ. And I strongly sense that she is not done yet—retirement is simply not in her vocabulary. She is one of those people who has the gift of service, and is happy when she can help others accomplish their work. As she moves into her new decade, I believe she will keep on ticking and doing Kingdom work.
Thanks, Mom. Happy birthday, and happy Mother's Day.