Encouraging others in the midst of difficult circumstances is an opportunity Lois Carmichael (CU ’54) embraces. “I see my role as an encourager,” says Carmichael, who undoubtedly teaches through her life just as much as her words.
After serving as a missionary with her husband Bill for 48 years in Mali, Scotland, the U.S. home office and England, they settled in Kokomo, Ind., where Bill served as an associate pastor for seniors and missions at Bible Baptist Church until he went to be with the Lord in 2017.
Since her retirement, Carmichael has found that opportunities to encourage others often take on many forms. Her recent experience grieving the loss of her husband has allowed her to minister to other women who’ve lost their husbands, “comforting them and helping them to be able to realize the Lord takes care of everything, even though it’s difficult.” She’s also helped lead a Grief Share ministry and regularly gets together with other widows who encourage one another.
By leading a Helping Hands women’s group, Carmichael also supports women currently serving on the mission field. “We encourage missionary ladies by sending them a birthday packet each year and making other things that can be of help to them.” Carmichael says the group also ministers to the community by making and sending items like baby blankets and bibs to the local pregnancy center.
Carmichael has found a way to encourage her former and retired Evangelical Baptist Missions colleagues by compiling their individual prayer letters and condensing each family’s news into a quarterly newsletter that she sends out to the group. “Many have written back that it’s been an encouragement just to keep up with their former co-workers and what the Lord’s doing in their ministries or in their retirement.”
In addition, Carmichael also continues to regularly visit the elderly—a ministry she started with her husband years ago. “I try to visit them at least two to three times a week to just be an encouragement. I’ll be 87 in a couple of months, but as long as God gives me the strength and the ability to do this, then I want to keep on.”
Carmichael’s role as an encourager is a testimony to the many ways God uses our lives to influence and teach others. “I just want people to know that the Lord is good. He’s always with us, no matter our situation, and He’s going to help and encourage us.”
Lois Carmichael (CU ’54) retired from overseas missionary service in 2003, where she and her husband Bill served for 48 years with Evangelical Baptist Missions and Ambassadors International Missions, Inc. Lois has been ministering with Bible Baptist Church of Kokomo, Ind., for the past 16 years. She has four children, 10 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren and joyfully serves the Lord as He gives her the health and strength.