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Belinda "BJ" Allder, Australian missionary to Thailand, was honored by the global church in the presentation of a Good Samaritan Award on February 9. She passed away just six days later at the age of 33.
At the time the award was given, Allder was in the final stage of her battle with cancer, surrounded by family and close friends. Nazarene Compassionate Ministries Asia-Pacific Coordinator David Harris made the surprise presentation via Skype.
The Allder family joined in worship and celebrated their last communion together as Belinda's father, Bruce Allder, principal of Nazarene Theological College, Brisbane, served the elements to his family.
NTC colleague and Director of Research and Curriculum Development David McEwan led the family in a poignant sharing of the Eucharist.
Australia-New Zealand Field Strategy Coordinator John Moore and his wife, Vicki, also participated in the service, expressing their support for Belinda and the Allder family.
Up until her diagnosis of cancer late in 2009, Belinda served at the Maetang Tribal Children's Home in northern Thailand.
Belinda's call to missions was dramatically affirmed during an Australian youth missions trip to Fiji, in 1998. The team endured what became an arduous trip on the open sea in a small, outboard-powered boat. They were concerned when they had not reached their destination after more than eight hours of what was supposed to be a four-hour journey. It was during that time that God directed Belinda's attention to the sky above, giving her the mandate to serve Him, under His sky, wherever that may be and to whomever it may be.
That experience has been the touchstone of Belinda's life and ministry, inspiring young and old alike throughout her native Australia, but also across the region and globe. Belinda recently retold the story for Nazarene Global Mission's Engage magazine.
In spite of a life-impacting illness, Belinda continued to be vitally involved in a discipleship group for young women, resourced youth ministry on the Australia Northern Pacific District, served on Nazarene Youth International Asia-Pacific's regional council, and contributed to the development of an Australian missions strategy. Her most recent goal was to be well enough to participate in the upcoming Australia-New Zealand Field missional church conference.
Unfortunately, she wouldn't meet that goal as she peacefully passed away on the morning of February 15.
"Dear friends, we grieve this morning the passing of our beloved Belinda, quietly, peacefully, her mum and dad with her, and with her last breath, a sweet smile," Harris wrote.
"Our hearts ache, we weep, yet, we are buoyed beyond measure that BJ is in the presence of the One who created her, redeemed her, transformed her, used her for His glory in the work of the Kingdom, accomplishing His purposes on earth and in the hearts of many," he continued. "What a privilege to have journeyed with this dynamic, gregarious, spiritual giant."
Belinda's most passionate and prayerful desire was for family and friends who are not yet believers to become disciples of Christ as a result of her life's testimony and witness to God's grace and peace in the midst of pain and suffering.
It was Belinda's wish that a foundation or trust be established to honor her passion for ministry and missions in perpetuity. The fund will offer scholarships affirming, encouraging, and supporting young people's equipping for and engagement in missions. For information on this, to sign a guest book, or to give to the foundation, click here.
The Allder family offers their sincere appreciation for the many loving expressions of support and prayer, including those posted on the aptly named Facebook group, "Under His Sky." Prayer is requested for the Allder family and Belinda's extended family with the Church of the Nazarene's Asia-Pacific Region.
Messages of condolence may be sent to:
40 Woodlands Drive
Thornlands Qld 4164, Australia
--Nazarene Compassionate Ministries Asia-Pacific