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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Asia (02/26/09)

TITLE: Simple Devotion To Her Father
By PamFord Davis


I am inadequate to paint a word portrait on my paper canvas of Miss Bertha Smith, who served as a Southern Baptist Foreign Missionary to China. My childlike admiration of this godly lady leads me to honor her in my small way.

I had never heard of Miss Bertha before attending Ridgecrest's Foreign Missions Week, during the summer of 1976. Knowing her would become a spiritual landmark in my life. Under the leadership of our church youth director, adults and youth combined for a close encounter with missions. People often speak about “mountain-top experiences” with God. The majestic North Carolina mountain setting at Ridgecrest, in the midst of missionaries, gives greater meaning to that phrase.

Shortly after our arrival, Bertha was pointed out to me in the crowded, large sanctuary. I know she would never desire people to speak of her as a celebrity but that was the impression given by others. The highlight of our Ridgecrest experience was the privilege to sit under Miss Bertha's private teaching. Our youth group from Louisiana joined another from Kentucky to hear a message from Bertha's heart.

The message's theme, I believe, was the Old Testament tabernacle, but her focus was to honestly confess our sins. She hit home with God's authority and anointing. God's children need continuous cleansing. We were instructed to return to our rooms and search our hearts for sin, listing specific sins on paper, along with names of those we had sinned against. The next step would be to ask forgiveness from them and God. If necessary, that would be followed by making restitution. With clean hearts, God's Holy Spirit could empower and equip us to walk in The Spirit and serve Him.

I met with Miss Bertha later and asked her to pray for my mother to be saved. She carefully wrote down the request as a reminder of my specific heart's desire and burden. The conference ended, but Miss Bertha's influence has lived on. Reading her books opened to me more doors to her ministry. Both “Go Home And Tell” and “How The Spirit Filled My Life,” brought me into a more intimate relationship with Jesus. To read her works is to experience revival!

Miss Bertha's life story began in the small South Carolina town of Cowpens. At an early age, God began His call on her life, leading her to later surrender to foreign missions and service in China during World War II. Her sacrificial prayer relationship with The Lord is an inspiration to me. She wrote in a segment from one of her books of waking before daybreak in bitter cold temperatures. Daily, she added layer after layer of clothing to provide warmth and protection before going outside to walk and talk with Her Lord!

The face and life of Bertha Smith reflected The Lord Jesus. After her retirement as a career missionary, she followed God's new calling to challenge and encourage Pastors. They, like myself, were sent to their rooms with instructions to repent and write! Yes, Miss Bertha spoke with fire, like John The Baptist!

A couple years after my introduction to Miss Bertha, my prayer request was answered. My mother trusted Jesus as her personal savior! I tried to contact Bertha, but my letter was returned. Those two little ladies are now together in heaven. This little lady says thank you...

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Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 03/06/09
Very nice tribute, and I really liked your ending.
Karlene Jacobsen03/07/09
This was a really nice tribute to one who impacted your life.
Ruth Ann Moore03/08/09
What a beautiful testimony of a missionary living yielded to Christ. May all our lives impact those around us to live surrendered to Christ.
Deborah Porter 03/13/09
Hi Pam. Just wanted to leave a quick note to let you know your entry, "Simple Devotion to Her Father," actually did very well in the Asia Challenge. Although you didn't receive an award, you made it into the Highest Rankings for Level 1, placing 11th in that Level. Competition in Level 1 is always very intense, so well done.

If you'd like to check the highest rankings for yourself, you can find them here:

The highest rankings are posted every Thursday evening on the Message Boards.

You definitely deserve a pat on the back. Well done. With love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)