“I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also,” Romans 16:1-2.
It is customary at funeral services to tell a little of the life of the one who has passed away.
Mrs Dane was aged 84. She was from the Lisnarick area, about 13 miles from us here in Kilskeery. She went to school there and also to the Enniskillen Girls’ Collegiate.
She married Basil when she was 20 years of age. They had met in the ‘Field’ at a 12th of July demonstration in Ballinamallard in which Basil took part as a member of Enniskillen Pipe band, They were married for 64 years.
Mrs Dane worked in Taylor Woods in Enniskillen. When the family came along, she remained at home and cared for the children.
According to Mrs Dane, she was saved following an evening service in Bethel at the beginning of December 1972. When she came home from the sabbath evening service, she told Basil that she had almost stayed behind. That evening Basil slipped off to see me and the next day, I called at her home and spoke to her and led her to the Lord. I always felt that she was saved during the opening mission in Bethel in August, conducted by the late Rev Alan Cairns. How fallible is our memories and what a happy correction for me to have to make.
I know that she had not been too enamoured with the reputation gained by the Lisbellaw meetings. We often laughed together about this in subsequent years. However, when the Bethel church was getting ready to open in the summer of 1972, she turned up to help the other ladies with the various preparations. It was while they polished the pews that she and my wife met and a life-long friendship was formed.
She started attending Bethel during the opening mission meetings and as I have said, some four months later came to Christ and was converted. A short time after, she led her daughter Amanda to the Lord.
The family has described her as independent and self sacrificing. Florence Dane, her daughter-in-law said she was a great mother-in-law. I know she spoke for Mrs Dane’s other daughters-in-law.
Mrs Dane was a prayer warrior. To the end she prayed for all the family. She was a loving Granny and Great Granny.
When Basil took ill, it was her desire that the Lord would take Basil before her as she knew he needed care. Basil passed away just at the end of October past.
She and Basil had visited Israel on three occasions and loved seeing the land of her Saviour.
She loved her church in Kilskeery, the meetings and missions. Her life revolved around the gatherings here and the preaching of the Word of God in this house.
It has been said that when she and Basil could no longer attend the services, that Kilskeery missed Basil’s singing and her prayers.
Fifty years have nearly passed since I first met Mrs Dane. Praise God for the people of God, there is an eternity before us to rejoice together and fellowship around the Saviour’s feet. Our song then will be “Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him [be] glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”
May the Lord bless and comfort the family and may a mother’s prayer be yet more wonderfully answered!