Maurice Desmond Moffat, my eighty-nine year old landlord and a surrogate grandfather of sorts, finished his race and went home to be with his Saviour last Thursday. "Maurice the Great", as he is affectionately known by his great-grandchildren, will be greatly missed by many people here in New Zealand, especially in Whangarei.
I count it a gift from God to have lived just on the other side of the wall from Maurice, blessed by his love and hospitality, for over 3.5 years. Often we shared prayers and stories, car rides, Sunday night meals, and sermon notes. Maurice treated me like a true grand-daughter, spoiling me with fresh goodies from the garden and words of wisdom. I honoured his age and stage by giving him rides to doctor's visits and did some of his shopping. It was a tender and treasured relationship.
Maurice proudly supported my pastoral ministry, prayed for me, and invited people to our church on a regular basis, even though he himself was often not well enough to attend worship services. I always knew that I had an advocate in Maurice. What a gift.
Thank you, Jesus for the gift of "Maurice the Great".
I have the honour of officiating Maurice's funeral this Thursday at 1:00PM. This will officially be my first time to officiate a funeral as a pastor. How fitting that it is for such a great man who loved Jesus more than anything and wanted nothing more than for everyone around him to know Christ as well.