A Gracious Woman

Mrs. Mitchell (Nelda) passed away last week. The funeral will be tomorrow in Prescott. Some passing thoughts about the woman who graciously signed us in when we would come to conference. Most of my knowledge of her centered around conference and Pastor Mitchell’s reference to the woman he loved. Each conference at its end would have Mrs. Mitchell go up to the platform to stand with her husband to receive prayer from our leadership and the conference attendees. There was always something special about the moment of her walking to the platform.

Barbara, from our Ballard church, had let me know that she wanted to go on the Israel trip with the Mitchell’s. I had tried to include some thoughts in my sermons about idols and figures and such, but nothing I said could take the big wooden cross from around Barbara’s neck. Off she went, cross and all. On her return she reported to all that she spent most of her time with Sister Mitchell. This spoke volumes about what kind of woman Nelda Mitchell was.

Our family, minus my two oldest girls, would return to Prescott after our seven years in Zambia. We got to be around the Prescott church and Pastor and Sister Mitchell. Sister Mitchell would attend Joan’s get together at the house. I once told her after I gave her a proper “good morning” that I felt like Eddie Haskell from “Leave it to Beaver” when I talked to her. She laughed. She gave me what I consider the supreme compliment. We were talking and I mentioned that we would be heading down to Wickenburg for the evening service. She responded: “I always forget you are from Wickenburg”.

Audra had a tougher time in Prescott than Joan or I. Unbeknown to us, her body was not behaving and this would end up in a 21-day intensive care stay 6 months after our arrival. The two people that took time to minister to her were Adam Porter and Sister Mitchell. Sister Mitchell and Audra seemed to actually have a friendship. Audra will be representing our family at the funeral.

We got a little glimpse into the Mitchell’s life when they came down to Wickenburg for Pastor Robinson’s 25th anniversary as the Wickenburg pastor. The little church they pastored many years before starting our fellowship was just down the street. Pastor Mitchell referred to the little church, the tree that still stands in which his kids would play and their memories of life in the town of Wickenburg. It turns out that they came up to Wickenburg to get married. The perfect words for the occasion.

My glimpse into their lives can in no way compare to the memories and thoughts of her family members. Yet, it is nice to be able to include a good report of a wonderful woman that touched so many lives like ours in so many different ways. Our condolences to the Mitchell family.

Proverbs 11:16 says “a gracious woman retains honor”. Mrs. Mitchell didn’t have to be gracious; she was gracious.

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About hansston

Pastor a church in Sparta.
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