[notice]Following the recent passing away of Port Elizabeth bachelor Gordon Kershaw, 81, a number of missionaries in the field have commented on how greatly they were encouraged by the faithful intercessory ministry of “Uncle Gordon”. Retired Anglican minister ALAN STANSBURY, a long-time friend and prayer partner of Gordon Kershaw, wrote this tribute.[/notice]
Today we are being introduced to a man who was one of the “hidden” ones, who made a great contribution on behalf of the church of Jesus Christ to His Great Commission [Matt 28:18-20].
Gordon Kershew was born in the United Kingdom and came with his parents to this country to settle, first of all in Uitenhage before moving to Port Elizabeth, where he lived most of his middle and later years. Gordon never married and has family-wise, two nieces, one living in Johannesburg and the other in the UK.
Gordon was a member of the Assemblies of God both in Uitenhage and in Port Elizabeth – Summerstrand. He spent a number of years as an elder there before moving over to the Anglican Church of St Margaret’s. This was while he was living at Walton Park, one of the Echo Foundation complexes.
He was well loved in both church and Walton. Being a bachelor, people could see how he needed extra attention to his bodily welfare and readily assisted!
While at Walton he became very associated with Barbara Sherry in the ministry there that included a weekly missions fellowship and a prayer meeting. Although not holding any official ministry at St Margaret’s he was called upon as a counsellor in personal matters and in an advisory capacity.
Gordon was a man who gave his heart to the Lord Jesus in his early years and when filled with the Spirit he became passionately involved in the mission work of the church. Four of the societies to which he gave himself were Operation Mobilisation, Foundation for Cross-Cultural Education, Middle East Christian Outreach and “Bless the Nations”.
Gordon, while with OM went to Gazankulu and the UK and spent time doing mission work in both places. Even here in Port Elizabeth, Gordon was involved in the “Town to CountryMission” and “Love Southern Africa” in the northern part of the Eastern Cape as a mission sender. He devoted most of his ministry for the Lord.
At the funeral of Gordon, Jean Greyling, the director of “Bless theNations” said of him…….. “here was a man who embodied the whole ethos of our mission – which is prayer, revival and mission” .
Jean mentioned he was compiling a brochure of tributes made by missionaries in the field to what Gordon meant in their lives [brochure obtainable from Jean Greyling@nmmu.ac.za].
Here are some of the comments made in the brochure :
…… Jesus said “well done good and faithful servant, you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things.Enter into the joy of Your Lord” [Matthew 25:21]. I believe many a battle in the spiritual world has been won because Uncle Gordon was willing to fight the good fight and run the good race. ….(Neels and Anita de Jager – Foundation for Cross-Cultural Education)
………”I remember the first meeting Gordon years ago when the Doulos visited Port Elizabeth. He came to volunteer his services. Not only did he keep up with the youngsters, he outshone them! He personified the Christian virtue of servanthood, he did not care if he cleaned out toilets or handed out tracts. He did it with gusto as unto the Lord …….(Peter Tarantal – Operation Mobilisation)
……Years ago, Susan & I offered Uncle Gordon a ride home after some “Bless the Nations” event. This humble and courteous servant spontaneously invited us into his home for a snack. When he left the livingroom to fix us something in the kitchen, I glanced into his bedroom and saw a cushion lying on the floor in front of a chair in the corner. It was obviously his prayer closet. There were two really prominent deep hollows in the cushion, hollows made by a man kneeling there very often ………….(Heinrich Botes – County Corrections Gospel Mission, USA)
…… Colin met Gordon Kershaw in the early 1980’s whilst doing deputation work in Port Elizabeth. He was part of the prayer group for MECO, the organisation to which he belonged. Gordon immediately struck Colin as a great prayer warrior and a Godly man full of integrity. Later when the Representative for MECO became vacant Gordon stepped in. He faithfully followed the progress of all MECO missionaries, especially South Africans and became one of our financial supporters as well. He was faithful in prayer and made it his business to keep up with everyone. Often when we were living in a primitive Turkish village up in the mountains of north Cyprus and feeling really homesick and as if we were getting no results, we would go to the post office and there would be a letter from Gordon. He was always a timely encourager to us…….(Colin and Barbara Tomlinson)
…….Gordon’s life taught me much about consecrated prayer, commitment unto the Lord and having faith in God’s promises. He was one of the great prayer warrior’s for my life and the sports ministry I am involved in …………(Rene Potgieter,
As Gordon’s prayer partner and true friend for many years, my wife, Molly, and I were struck chiefly by his very loving and discerning disposition. He was truly committed to the Lord Jesus and worked for His great work and for His glory.
Every year at Christmas-time, Gordon would show where he stood regarding the worldly “Jingle bells, Jingle bells” celebrations! He would not even attend a Christmas day luncheon, but rather spent the time in prayer and quietness writing and keeping in touch with his missionary friends.
Yes, on the day Gordon was called home we sang this song together: “Till we meet, till we meet, till we meet at Jesus’ feet, till we meet, till we meet, God be with you till we meet again”.
Thank you Lord for this lovely Christian brother.
Alan and Molly Stansbury.