Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Marj Conway

Memorial Service – 28.03.12
Romans 8 v31 to v39

Marj was an amazing person.

A devoted wife, a loving mum, a wonderful grandma, a good friend. Marj seemed to have the ability to love everyone.
All of us in this room and many more besides will have many wonderful memories of Marj because she was a wonderful person.

In the words Adrienne read out earlier on we see Paul saying to the church in Rome 'In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.'
Marj knew what it meant to be more than a conqueror – she was married to Dave for nearly 60 years!
And even in her last moments when she knew the end was close, she said to Sue and those around her - 'The Lord is my strength'

I personally had the privilege of knowing Marj, and her husband Dave, as part of Ormskirk Christian Fellowship and as neighbours for several years on Falkland in Birch Green.

Marj helped with the mums and toddlers at OCF for many years and turned up with Dave to make people feel welcome and chat to the many people who came along.

In the 1970s Marj had helped Dave to run the Monday club for children in Tuebrook in Liverpool with pastor Roy Hossack who was the man responsible for leading Dave and Marj into a personal relationship with Jesus.

In 2009, after nearly 60 years of marriage, it was discovered that Dave had liver cancer and amazingly Dave had 5 months of reasonable heath while Marj took care of him, making cooked breakfasts for him every morning and making garlic bread and pizza, which he suddenly took a liking to, last thing at night.

Dave went into Queens Street Hospice on the 27th August where he passed away peacefully in his sleep on the 1st September.

Marj lost a partner in evangelism at that time and yet it didn't stop her from witnessing and in the last weeks of her life she led a friend to the Lord in the home where she was staying.
Marj knew the good news of Jesus and wanted to share it with others just as she had done for years with Dave.

Earlier on in the passage we read from in Romans it says 'He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?'

For Marj and Dave the word 'all' meant everyone – everyone they met, everyone they had contact with, everyone in this room right now.

Jeremiah tells us that God has plans for us. Plans to proper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future & yet in Isaiah we also see that we all like sheep have gone astray, turned each one to his own way – we've done it ourselves and so often ignored God's plans and love.

When Dave gave his life to the Lord Marj was worried – she thought he'd gone off his rocker! Until she too found that same joy that Dave had found, the joy that Peter talks about in the Bible when he says 'Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade'

At the cross of Jesus Marj found a joy in knowing the freedom of new life in Jesus Christ and if she was here now she would be nodding and lifting up her hands and giving Him praise.

Marj was a determined and strong person and continued to go on holiday after Dave died including a trip to Malta with her good friend Thelma.

But I remember Marj as a dancer – she would perform dances at the clock tower in Ormskirk town centre with others from OCF as a witness to her saviour – a brave woman!

She loved to give God glory and had a strong prophetic voice in the church. Marj was a worshipper and Steve told me of how in the last few days he turned round to see his mother-in-law dancing and praising God with her hands in the air in a time of worship.

I loved Marj – she was a huge support and a wonderful friend to me and to so many others, and now she is dancing and worshipping face to face with her saviour,
but her biggest hope for those of us left behind would be that we ALL come into a living relationship with Jesus and find the strength that she found in Him.

Amazing Grace
How Sweet the Sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost but now I'm found
Was blind but now I see