Happenings, News

A celebration for Miss Gruber’s life

SHE has gone home to be with the Lord, but it was a celebration for her life. And all her friends who came to celebrate spoke of American missionary Miriam Jean Gruber as a woman of substance and a woman of God. Every single one of them had been touched by her life.

The Memorial Service at the Methodist Girls’ School (MGS) Chapel on Sept 9, 2005 was simple but beautiful. Although many were teary-eyed, they rejoiced that Miss Gruber had returned to her Master whom she had served well for almost 60 years, first in China, and then in Singapore and Malaysia.

Her ministry included key appointments to MGS, Kampong Kapor Methodist Church, Tamil Methodist Church, and Shellabear Hall in Malacca. She had also served as Chaplain of the Singapore Girls’ Brigade and was actively involved with the Women’s Society of Christian Service.

She had no family but gave to all who knew her a legacy of a family in Christ. Such was her love for all with whom she came into contact.

After the Call to Worship by Mrs Laureen Ong, President of the General Conference Women’s Society of Christian Service, the Memorial Service began with the singing of the hymn of praise, “Sing With All the Saints of Glory”.

The Rev T. C. Nga, who delivered the Word of Grace, said he knew Miss Gruber for more than 30 years and found her to be a dedicated Christian who loved God with all her heart, mind and soul. “She left the comfort of her home to come and serve in Asia.”

In his sermon, Bishop Dr Robert Solomon said the righteous person would be “remembered by us and, more importantly, by God, for God’s memory is eternal”.

“It is good to be remembered by others. The best things, more lasting memories of a person, may not be what is written on paper or stone but on hearts.

“But it is even more important to be remembered by God. To be remembered by God is the greatest blessing. It comes from knowing God through faith in Christ. Hence, a righteous person will be remembered forever.”

Five people whose lives had been touched by Miss Gruber paid tribute to her. They were Mrs Jenny Chi, Mrs Tay Poh Luan, Mrs Lo Suli, the Rev Philip Lim and Mrs Tay Poh Imm. Their testimonies were sewn by a common thread — that of Miss Gruber’s love for God and her love for people.

The Memorial Service ended on a poignant note when Mr Peter Sim of The Boys’ Brigade sounded The Last Post as soon as the last strains of the benediction response faded away.