Samatha Joseph

     Mission work has tremendous blessings in terms of spreading the gospel of Christ to the lost of this world (Matthew 28:18-20). But the blessings are not just for those who hear the Word. There are many blessings for those who are involved in doing the work. One of the greatest of these blessings is the getting to know and love the people we meet while doing this work.

Our work in Guyana brought is into contact first with brother Sunil Joseph and shortly thereafter with his wife Samatha. Sunil and Samatha are without doubt one of the most impressive Christian couples I have ever met. They have made it possible for us to increase our effectiveness in the work we have done and continue to do in Bartica and Canje down in Guyana. Indeed, the first consideration when I make a trip there is the availability of Sunil Joseph.

     A few years back Samatha began a heroic struggle with cancer. Cancer is a reminder that this world is not our home. But I do not know anyone who worked more diligently to battle that disease. Samatha lost that battle but she surely won the only war that matters in this life. She was a faithful child of God, a wonderful friend, and a beloved wife and mother (Revelation 14:13).

     Brent Peek is our deacon who works in missions here at West Hobbs Street. He has been to Guyana many times and, like all the rest of us who know Sunil and Samatha, came to love them. He recently posted a tribute to Samatha that I would like to share with those who read our bulletin.

     Brent had this to say: “…our friend in Guyana, South America, Samatha Joseph had gone on to be with the Lord. Heroes come in all shapes and sizes and you never know when or where you are going to meet one. I’m just thankful that through the providence of God, this small town Alabama boy had the great privilege of getting to know this descendant of indentured servants from India. Samatha is hard to describe. About the best I can come up with is that she was a fireball worker for the Lord. People who think women have limited opportunities for leadership and service in the church have never met women like Samatha. Please pray for her husband Sunil and children Stephen and Stephanie as they mourn her loss. She battled her disease like few ever have; not out of fear, but because she wanted to be there for her family.
The last time I saw Samatha was back in August. We both knew this would be the last time we would see each other in these bodies and I’m so thankful we got to hug and express our love for each other one last time. I look forward to a happy reunion in heaven after a while. She is probably already organizing some activity in paradise and will have a job ready for me when I get there.”

     Like Brent, I can just imagine her as she came to be with the Lord. Samatha always had something to say or do to make whatever situation you were in better in some way. I remember her standing on a dock on the Essequibo River telling Brent and I not to go to Parika in “that boat.” Sure enough, that boat stalled out and we had to do a mid-river transfer. I can hear her now saying “I told you not to get in that boat!”

     Many of us have precious memories of Samatha. She and Sunil loved this church and her people. They had a wonderful and special relationship with Mitch and Camilla Fuller. She considered Camilla her mom and Mitch her dad. Those of us who were blessed with the opportunity to know her will never forget Samatha Joseph.

     As you pray, remember Sunil, their daughter Stephanie and their son Stephen.