In the spring of 2006 I attended a monthly pastors meeting in our local Baptist Association. The speaker that morning was Becky Lynn Black. She shared with us about work she and her husband had been doing in Ethiopia. She spent the first 11 years of her life as a “Missionary Kid” in southern Ethiopia. After many years away from that country she and her husband went back for a visit. She was sharing with us pastors about some of the work that they had begun with the churches in southern Ethiopia. Over the next decade, this partnership would include Bible Conferences, Scripture memory programs, Bible distributions, eye-glass distribution, a medical clinic, supporting indigenous missionaries, building church buildings, installing solar powered electricity in churches, and many others. A few weeks after meeting Becky Lynn, my wife and I went to their home for dinner and lengthy conversation about Kingdom work in Ethiopia. From that initial meeting we developed a close friendship, we became family.
There are many things I could say about Becky Lynn, or ‘Mama B’ as many called her. Perhaps I can sum it up by saying she made me want to love Jesus more. She had an engaging personality and an ability to make each person feel like the most important person in the room. She challenged everyone to a deeper walk with Jesus. In 2009 while heavily involved in this partnership work in Ethiopia, Mama B was diagnosed with endometrial cancer. We were all devastated. As saddened as we were, Mama B never let this slow her down. She trusted completely in God’s sovereignty and knew He made no mistakes. From the summer of 2009 until November 2, 2013 she endured the surgeries, hospital stays, chemo, radiation, and so forth with grace and strength. She used to say, “I’m not dying of cancer. I am living with cancer.” And she did!
Through her battle with cancer she never slowed down pouring her life into other people. She continued to visit Ethiopia and lead other teams to visit. She was always concerned for others and looked for ways to have a positive impact on their lives. During her 4 years with cancer she received some of the best medical treatment possible. The entire team at the Lineberger Cancer Center at UNC was phenomenal. Just recently her husband, David Black, has partnered with the Lineberger Center to establish the Becky Black Memorial Fund to Fight Endometrial Cancer. This fund will further research on endometrial cancer. Please take a moment and visit this page to learn more about Mama B, and how you can help those living with this cancer.
On Mother’s Day 2014, I spoke about Mama B briefly. You can hear my remarks in this 3-minute clip
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Jon, thanks for this great tribute to Mama B. I recently started collaborations with Dr. Bae Jump on Endometrial cancer at UNC. It’s a small world.