Thursday, May 04, 2006

Eva McCarthy

Eva McCarthy was born in Canada in the last decade of the 19th century, as her parents were returning from Ireland to China, older sister to four brothers, the only one in her family to become a Bible teacher and preacher. She first taught Math at the China Inland Mission Chefoo School where her father was the prinicipal.

Leaving China in the 1930's she came back to Canada and taught theology and homiletics at the Toronto Bible College, now the Tyndale seminary. She was also on the board of Inter Varsity Canada in its earliest days.

After the war she returned to Ireland to care for her parents and travel with her father in the service of CIM. She ended up teaching at the Brethren Beatenberg Biblelschule in Switzerland, under the Fraulein Direktor. Later in Greece and Macedonia she was invited to preach in the churches.

This is an excerpt from one of her sermons from the beginning of the war, published in the His magazine in 1944.
    Where can you find consolation?

    In times of perplexity the best source of guidance and assurance is the Bible. And here one way to find strength and faith is to observe the guiding principles in the lives of outstanding men of God who, through times of protracted testing and trial, have trusted in the overruling wisdom and power of the God into whose hands they have committed their times.

    Take the record of one who was called of God to a position of leadership in the greatest crisis of his nation's history.

    A strange record in some ways, it would seem to us; for Moses' life was two-thirds preparation - preparation of body and mind and spirit. But how splendidly equipped he was when the call came! Intellectually he had had the best the world could offer. To be "learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians" meant a fairly liberal education. Languages, mathematics, astronomy, art, history, philosophy - nothing would be missing.

    The exacting training of a king's household, the study of men and manners in the diplomatic, religious and social circles of the day - all would have peculiar value in fitting him for the task of leadership.


    So it can be with you.

    For these years between, if lived in communion and obedience, will not be wasted. They will prove to be the very preparation above all others that will fit you to fulfill the works that God has before ordained that you should walk in them.

    Thus the matured character, the trained mind, the disciplined body - every phase of your past experience, every unusual, abnormal happening in these strange, waiting times will be a thread in the hand of the Great Weaver woven into the pattern of a useful, effective life in His service.

    That can be - must be - your consolation in this time of need.

    For having thrown yourself utterly, unreservedly upon Him you are putting your confidence in Him, who alone is "able to keep you from falling and to present you faultless before the presence, of His glory with exceeding joy ..."

    That is enough.
Shortly after this was published her brother died in Ortona, Italy.

Eva McCarthy died in Belfast, England, in 1974, a Brethren woman preacher and Bible teacher.