Monday, August 8, 2011

missionary tribute: Bob Bishop

Bob Bishop passed into eternity on Saturday. He was 74 years old, and had recently had health issues including Parkinson's. Bro. Bob was the president of Globe Missionary Evangelism, later renamed Globe International, a missions board that has sent out hundreds of missionaries into foreign fields. I was only 9 years old when I met Bro. Bob.

When we moved to Pensacola in 1985, our large family was welcomed into the Lillian, AL homegroup, comprised of senior citizens, living out their retirement dreams in Spanish Cove "over the bridge." They all sat together, right in front of the balcony edge, left side. So for several years we sat there too. And so did Bob and Beth Bishop.

Missions conferences would roll around each year in April. Former Liberty Bible College graduates, laboring on foreign fields all over the world, would come in to raise support and spread the vision for their ministries. I remember sitting through hours upon hours of morning and evening conference sessions, enthralled with the stories and pictures. Bro. Bob was always involved in the missions conferences somehow. I know that Globe Missionary Evangelism was not formed until some time later, but he always had his hand in the missions pot at Liberty, so to speak. Bro. Bob was a steady man, a faithful man. A man who loved God and wanted to see the world evangelized with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

One year I well remember an certain incident involving Bro. Bob. Dirk Wood had been on the field a year or two at that point, and he was crazy for God and as spicy a personality as anyone I remember from my childhood. Towards one of the last fund-raising sessions, he called Bro. Bob up to the stage and had him take his shoes and socks off, amid much laughter and cheering. Then he had him climb onto one of those old rust-colored upholstered chairs that always sat up front, and he shouted out, "LOOK AT THOSE BEAUTIFUL FEET, YA'LL!"

Of course, this is a reference to Isaiah 52:7 and  Romans 10:15, which both basically say, "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, "Your God reigns!"

We cannot imagine all the people that will be in heaven one day because of the fulfillment of God's destiny and will for this man and his family's life work. Bro. Bob's memory will be blessed (Prov. 10:7).  We were made for eternity!
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