It was with great sadness that I heard the news this morning that Mo Davies passed away at 9.25pm last night (Tuesday 18th July). I spoke with Ben this morning and he said they'd had a quite remarkable last few hours together with their children Naomi, Caradog and Rebekah and some close family and friends singing hymns and praying together with Mo.
However, mixed in with that sadness is also a deep confidence and assurance that Mo has gone to a better place. A place with no cancer, no suffering, no pain, no sadness and no tears. It is really is true that for Mo, as for all who trust in Jesus for their salvation, that to live is Christ and to die is gain.
I spent some time a while ago reflecting on Mo and the lasting impact she's had on my life. These were a few of the things I wrote that I appreciated and admired about her:
- Her enduring love for Jesus, and her desire for Him to always be at the centre of her life
- Her devotion to Ben, and the example that their commitment to one another was to so many of us
- Her deep love for her children and grandchildren
- Standing alongside Ben in giving sacrificially to the building of the Kerith Centre
- Her regular prayer and fasting - particularly for her children
- Her willingness to serve the weak and vulnerable:
- - As a Marie Curie nurse, caring for people in their final days
- - In Foodbank - Mo was serving there the Friday before she was told she only had days to live
- - In our Konnections Respite ministry, caring for children with special needs and providing a much needed break for their families
- - In helping so many individuals, both inside and outside the church, who needed a dose of Mo's wisdom, love, practical support or correction
- Raising money to build a classroom for children with special needs in Serenje, Zambia
- Her acceptance of and support for me taking over leading Kerith from Ben
- Her dislike of the limelight, even though whenever she spoke in public the power of God moved through her
- Her kindness to everyone she met
- Her faith for lives being changed through our midweek Encounter meeting, as well as her commitment to making sure that everyone was well fed
- Her fierce love of Wales, and her refusal to let Ben wear an England rugby shirt when he was asked to wear one at a Christmas Day meeting
- Her trust in God throughout her life, and especially since being diagnosed with cancer
- Her commitment to being in church as an utter priority, even if her favourite place was the second row from the back
- Her smile and the twinkle she always had in her eye
I'm going to miss Mo hugely, as I know so many of us will. Please be praying for Ben in this new season of life that now lies ahead of him. Be praying for their children Naomi, Caradog and Rebekah as they come to terms with the loss of their mum. Be praying for their partners Howard, Anja and Simon, and for all the grandchildren who are mourning the loss of their 'nanna'. And be praying for all Mo's close friends, that God will be comforting and strengthening them as they grieve.
Let's also pray for God's kingdom to come at this time. For friends of Mo who didn't know Jesus to come to know Him. For Mo's legacy to be both a deeper love for Jesus and trust in Him for every one of us, and for each one of us to partner with Jesus in bringing His love and compassion to our lost and broken world.
I know that there will be many of us wanting to come together to thank God for Mo's life and to celebrate what she meant to so many of us. Once we have a date for the service of thanksgiving we'll make sure to let everyone know when it is. In the meantime I know many of you will want to write tributes to Mo. You can obviously send them directly to the family, but we'll collect together all the tributes which get left in both response to this blog and on the Kerith facebook page and make sure they get passed on to Ben and the family too.