A Faithful Servant For The Glory Of God
Lois J. Stucky, our beloved sister and long-time Herald editor, went home to be with the Lord on August 22, 2014, at the age of 85. Her life and ministry are a beautiful testimony to what the Lord can do in and through a person full of devotion to Him and His work. As we offer this tribute to her, we do so knowing that all of the glory belongs to the Lord for His faithfulness to her as she honored Him and His calling for her life.
Lois was born November 13, 1928, in the rural community of Warren, Indiana. She was raised in a godly family and early in her life she developed a close relationship with the Lord. As one of her childhood friends recalls, "Lois always walked close to Jesus, even as a young girl. You could always sense in her the presence of Jesus." When Lois was only twelve years old, her father died. This was a terrible loss to her and her family, but with the help of the Lord, they pulled together and continued on. Lois took on much responsibility and learned to rely deeply on her Heavenly Father.
Lois was an excellent student, and after high school she went on to college and then to Fort Wayne Bible College. She was trained and gifted as an elementary school teacher, and in 1955-1956 she taught missionary children in six different grades in the Dominican Republic. She also started a Sunday School class in English for the children. During this challenging time she wrote, "The Lord’s presence is so near and sweet and I know this blessing is in answer to prayer. …I have learned that what you cannot possibly do in your own strength and wisdom, you can do in His. ‘Great is Thy faithfulness’ is certainly the expression of my feelings."
Lois had it on her heart to serve in Africa, and in the fall of 1956, the Lord made it possible for her to begin teaching children in Sierra Leone. There she faced many challenges and difficulties, but marveled at the way the Lord supplied help and strength as she looked to Him. After serving in Sierra Leone for three years, she returned to the U.S. for additional education and to seek the Lord’s will regarding her future work.
Called to the Herald Ministry
In the summer of 1960, Lois traveled to California to help at the office of Herald of His Coming. She was familiar with the ministry because she had received the monthly paper while in Sierra Leone and had been encouraged spiritually by the messages. She intended to work there only for a short season, but began to sense the Lord’s call toward a deeper commitment to the Herald ministry.
Her first responsibilities included taking care of the mail received from Herald readers in Nigeria and the Philippines. Because of her devotion to the Lord, her godly character, her faithful service and her good relationships with other staff members, she gained the confidence and trust of the co-founders, W.C. Moore and Sarah Foulkes Moore, and was given more and more responsibility, including portions of the editorial work. In 1973, after Sister Moore passed away, Lois was asked to serve as vice-president of the ministry. Brother Moore thought so highly of her that in 1974 he stated his desire to the board that if he should ever be unable to carry on his work with the Herald, that Lois take the full responsibility for this work, by the help of the Lord.
Brother Moore was in his eighties at that time, and as his strength and health waned, Lois carried more and more of the weight of the editorial work and other significant responsibilities. She was faithful to all entrusted to her, and when Brother Moore passed away in December 1980, she was appointed as the new president of the ministry and given the full responsibility of the editorial work. One of her fellow workers, Simone Lopez, who also served on the board, wrote of Lois during those days: "She was a hard worker giving the best of herself to the publication of the paper – the Herald of His Coming. She often remained late at her desk, finishing an article or preparing the work for the next day. She was at her desk past 10 or 11 p.m. In the morning she would welcome us with the same radiant smile as if she had a very good time of rest. I never saw her lose her temper…and she was wise in solving differences between workers. She wasted no time in the service of the King – but she was also a strong prayer partner and intercessor."
In 1988 Lois received some much needed help when the ministry moved to Newton, Kansas, and Elmer and Leonore Klassen became the new president and vice-president of the ministry. This transition allowed Lois to devote more of her attention to the editorial work. She moved again with the ministry in 1999 to Indiana when Dave and Kim Butts of Harvest Prayer Ministries became the new president and vice-president. She continued her work as editor until 2009 when, at her request, she was relieved of this responsibility. Thankfully, however, she continued to help with the editorial work up until the very month the Lord called her home.
Peace and Joy at the Finish Line
Lois was in relatively good health until August when her health took a dramatic turn that required hospitalization. Several days later, the doctor informed us of the seriousness of her condition and suggested she enter into hospice care. Lois was at perfect peace in the Lord and calmly responded, "It seems like the Lord is saying that my work on earth is finished." She went on to share that she was ready to be with the Lord. Three days later we were able to take her home, and by early the next morning the Lord had taken her home to be with Him. We believe the Lord in His faithfulness and mercy toward her granted her heart’s desire to finish her work on earth and go quickly to glory.
Two years ago, Lois penned the following words of testimony and praise, and placed them with her funeral arrangements: "I cannot put into words how good the Lord has been to me, but I do want Him to be greatly praised for His unfathomable goodness to me. My life has not turned out to be what I desired and dreamed of as a normal girl and young woman, but when I gave myself to Him for His will to be fulfilled in my life, He led me to walk in paths that gave me a little, little place in helping to give His life-giving Word to the world. As I come near the completion of my life, I look back with unspeakable thanks and with the joy of knowing that He has accomplished in me and through me what He brought me into this world for. It is not an emotional joy necessarily that many experience in a normal life of home, family, etc., but it is a deep-seated joy in sensing that He has been pleased to use me in a little way for His loving and enduring purpose for mankind, that no one perish but that all should know of Him and the wonderful salvation He has provided through Jesus Christ for all who believe."
One month before her health gave way, she wrote these words to her dear friend Simone Lopez: "Like you, Simone, I am drawing on the Lord daily to strengthen, help and uphold me (Isa. 41:10). Oh, how faithful He has been! As you say every day is a challenge and we are learning to lean more than ever before on Him! …Isn’t it wonderful to be in the care of the God of the universe! And to think that after the ordeal of death, we will meet the embrace of the One who reconciled us to God so that we are His blood-bought children."
And how blessed to know that she is now safely with Him, and that to depart and be with Christ is better by far!
Some Personal Reflections
Like those of us in the Herald office, you have probably been encouraged, stirred and inspired month after month by her articles. Perhaps you have enjoyed personal interaction with her, whether by phone or written correspondence. And, of course, all of us have benefited for years, or even decades, as the Lord has shared His message with us through her faithful editorial work.
As we consider God’s admonition to give honor to whom honor is due, a number of thoughts regarding Lois come to mind. One of the main ones is that her life was marked by sincerity and genuineness. The way she lived her life was in complete harmony with what she taught. Those of us who worked day in and day out with her, and who spent time with her outside the office in various contexts, can testify that Lois was full of the character of Christ. She was very humble, gentle, patient, kind and compassionate. She was full of the Holy Spirit, full of joy, full of peace, full of faith and full of song.
She was devoted to the Lord, remaining unmarried all her life that she might give herself completely to Him and His calling for her. Her consecration and sanctification were thorough, and nothing in her life seemed out of step with the Lord. Although she lived a godly life, she never drew attention toward herself, but always gave the glory to the Lord. For example, when a nurse in the hospital commented about her gracious disposition, Lois replied, "It is Jesus." She also never lost sight of the fact that anything good in her life was from the Lord. She always displayed the utmost confidence in the Lord and fully acknowledged that He was her strength and her song.
Lois led a very steady and disciplined life. Not only did she carefully avoid worldliness, sin, and anything displeasing to the Lord, but she also fully embraced godliness and sought to please the Lord in all things. She was devoted to God’s Word, as well as to prayer and fasting. She lived a very simple and frugal life, and was generous toward the Lord’s work and the needs of others. She lived with eternity in view, longing to be ready for the coming of the Lord and giving herself fully to help others be prepared for that Day.
She was fully devoted to the Herald ministry and poured herself into the work body and soul. She was a very dedicated, skilled and hard worker, working full days in the office and many hours outside the office. She was very efficient and organized, and we are amazed at all she accomplished. We praise the Lord for His gifting and anointing upon her life and work, including her exceptional writing and editing abilities.
Lois certainly had a deep heart for Herald readers. She read through each piece of correspondence the ministry received, prayed faithfully for the needs of readers, and gave her best so that readers could benefit through her work. She had a special heart for the hurting and for those who were in hard places. She also cared deeply for pastors and was so thankful to help supply them with encouragement and good messages, so that they could in turn feed their flocks. She also greatly appreciated the editors of the other language editions of the Herald, and did all she could to bless them and their work. She was very missions’ minded, and was very thankful for the opportunity to be involved in people’s lives in so many different countries. She longed for and prayed regularly for revival throughout the world, including here in her home country which she loved very much.
We hope you will join us in giving praise and thanksgiving to the Lord for His faithfulness to Lois and for her faithfulness to Him. Only He knows the full number of people who will benefit for eternity through what He accomplished through the life and work of this precious saint.
Of course, the Herald staff will dearly miss her fellowship and her partnership in this work. She faithfully served in this ministry for over 54 years, and we realize that going on without her will be a great challenge. Please join us in looking to the Lord for His strength and guidance for the days ahead. How encouraging and comforting it is to know that the God who was faithful over her life and ministry, is the same God who is faithful over your life and our lives. To God be the glory! And may His will be accomplished in all things!
About This Issue
The focus of this issue is about living for God’s glory and serving Him faithfully – a focus very much in keeping with the kind of life Lois lived. In honor of her, we are reprinting three articles that she wrote in her early years with the ministry (see page 9 - Article 1, Article 2, Article 3), and also an article she wrote about world outreach (see page 10). We are also including the poem "The Young Christian’s Choice" that had special meaning to Lois (see page 6).
We appreciate your encouragement as much as ever, and hope to hear from you soon.
Herald of His Coming
P.O. Box 279
Seelyville IN 47878 U.S.A.