SUDAN, Texas (BP) — As Cheryll Harvey was buried Sept. 15 in Sudan, Texas, surrounded by friends and relatives who nourished and nurtured her, colleagues told of her love for a people in a land far from those dusty plains.
Some considered her an unlikely candidate to work as a Southern Baptist representative in another land. She was turned away three times for service before she was accepted.
“But she proved them all wrong,” said one of her colleagues. “She was one of the best.”
Harvey was a quiet woman with intense determination. When told she didn’t have the right kind of education, she returned with a second master’s degree. When told she didn’t have the right kind of personality for the work she wanted to do, she sought training as an Avon representative and developed the interpersonal skills that became the hallmark of her service among the people of Jordan.
When finally accepted, she thought she was going to Africa. But when her name badge said somewhere else she quipped, “I didn’t think I was going to Jordan. But if that’s where God is calling me, that’s where I’ll go.”
During the funeral service at First Baptist Church, Sudan, Texas, where she was baptized at age 6 and first expressed a call to overseas service, colleagues who served with her in Jordan expressed the feelings of those who could not attend. They spoke of their heartbreak over her death and told how she touched lives of those she served.
“Cheryll’s life was our school,” said one.
“Your daughter has made you proud,” said another.
Bill Bangham is a photojournalist and International Mission Board writer in Richmond, Va. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress ) and in your email ( baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).