The godly are directed by honesty..Proverbs 11:5 NLT
I was shocked and saddened by the news that my long time friend and colleague, Pastor Andrew Pearce had died in a car accident last Christmas at the age of 43.
He was teaching school in the Philippines at the time of his death.I met him in the mid ’90s when he came to be a student pastor at the church I was doing Bible work in, at Weatherford Texas. Andrew was genuine, humble and personable and we all loved him. I remember one fellowship lunch when a four year old boy asked Pastor Andrew his name. Instead of saying, “Pastor Pearce” Or Pastor Andrew” he replied with a friendly, even childlike smile, “My name is Andy!” He hit it off with the little boy, just like he did the rest of us.
Later Pastor Andrew went to Oklahoma where he pastored a church on a small stipend. By this time I was working at UPS as well as a second job, and was doing well for myself. I sent Pastor Andrew money to help with his stipend. The first time I did so, he wrote back telling me how he had just had an emergency repair bill that he did not know how he was going to pay, until my check came. He called it a miracle.
Later, Andrew got on full time with the Oklahoma conference with a full salary. He wrote me to thank me and let me know that he no longer needed my money every month. Andrew was godly and directed by honesty because he did not have to let me know that.
Andrew also invited me up to Oklahoma to preach in his three church district. He let me stay with him and his family. He also saw to it that the churches took up offerings to help me with my traveling expenses. One night I came up to preach, and he told me a family in one of his churches had just lost a young boy. They were poor and did not even have the money to bury him. Andrew told me they would be taking up an offering for the family, but he was going to see that I still got my offering. The next morning while on the platform with Andrew, I heard a testimony from the congregation about how poor that family really was. The Holy Spirit told me to tell Andrew not to take up any offerings for me that day. It was all to go to the family. When I whispered to Andrew there on the platform to cancel my offering, he hesitated before I assured him this was God’s plan. Andrew was a godly man directed by honesty, who wanted to do what was right for the family as well as me.
Once Andrew invited me up to hold one of my In Light of Cross weekend seminars. Weeks after the seminar he told me about a tremendous change he had seen in a lady who used to be very bitter and angry all the time. He told me, she told him that my sermon on forgiveness had touched her heart and changed her not jut for a while, but for good. Andrew was very excited about this and thanked me for coming. Andrew was happiest when he saw others doing well. Andrew knew what it was like to be a humble missionary with a small salary, but he received more satisfaction from encouraging others and building up there ministry than he did from seeing himself succeed.
While still working for UPS in Fort Worth my second job ended when the owner of the company sold out. All the way from Oklahoma Andrew hooked me up with another company in Fort Worth where I could work part time. Regardless if it was my spiritual life or secular work Andrew was always interested in helping me and others and seeing us all succeed.
He was a great friend. He was a great colleague. Most of all, he was a goldy man, whose whole life was directed by honesty. He did what was right, not for himself but for everyone. We will miss Andrew until we meet in heaven. Meanwhile I pray for God to give us all the same spirit He gave Andrew, so we all can finish God’s work.