I did not have the privilege of growing up with Cheryl Beckett. I didn’t know her when she was young. I met her not long after I arrived at Christian Fellowship Church. She was on a furlough from the mission field and hanging out with some friends in our coffee shop. She struck me immediately as a girl who could’ve lived on my street when I was a kid. You know the one, a few doors down and always up for a game of flag football or whiffle ball. She would’ve waded in the creek with us to catch crawfish or gig bullfrogs. That was my first impression anyway.
We had heard of each other, particularly as it involved our previous ministries and some general background. My wife has always called me by my full name: Dale Beaver. For some reason when other people hear her do that it sticks with them as well. I don’t know if Cheryl heard my wife call me that, or the countless other people who do because of my wife, but it stuck with her as well. She called me Dale Beaver, and I called her CB.
Cheryl walked in a spiritual maturity that could’ve been frighteningly intimidating, but she never let you get there. Always true to her convictions, which I am quite sure she could articulate most emphatically, Cheryl was better at putting you at ease and listening. I always wondered if that’s what made her great in Afghanistan. A place that doesn’t tolerate women would be well served by a woman who could put you at ease. Her competency and character would converge into a childlike faithfulness that was just so disarming.
It’s not surprising then that after 11 years we still grieve her passing. It’s not just that she was martyred by the enemies of her faith, it’s that she’s not with us at all. Everyone that knew her, regardless of how well, carries with them some profound memory of being with her. This weekend as we examine the story of Daniel in the Lions’ den, we will also distribute brochures which includes photos of Cheryl and the story of her ministry in Afghanistan. I hope that you will take some time to read Cheryl‘s story and be inspired to remain faithful to God in whatever place he puts you to serve Him.
I want to walk by faith in this place. We are not promised safety… but I know that there will also be beauty and fruit due to walking in obedience to God.