A Life of Service to God and Neighbor
Designate your gift to the Heidi Jo Long Memorial Fund
When 10-year-old Heidi wrote in her Sunday School art project, “When I grow up, I will be a missionary in a foreign land,” her teacher probably thought she was just like all of the other kids, eager and inspired by the visiting missionaries that week, but likely to pursue other interests as she grew up. And in a sense, that is true - Heidi grew up much like anyone else: she was a Girl Scout, played in the marching band… She got a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and worked for 15 years as a Research Technician at Boston University Medical School, assisting in the study of Alzheimer’s Disease and Tuberculosis. An average, ordinary life, just like everyone else.
But Heidi realized God’s love for her and the great lengths to which He had gone to save us, and she knew--like we all know--that God’s call for believers is to “Go, make disciples from every nation, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have taught you.” (Matt. 28:19-20) After a week of fasting in 2008, Heidi decided that, instead of waiting for God to confirm that Word through an undeniable outward sign, she would simply obey God’s Word and ask Him to stop her if she went in the wrong direction! Immediately, doors for service overseas started opening! A Mission E4 trip to Haiti was a catalyst to her realizing that. Yes, she could live and work overseas--and enjoy it! (Nothing thrilled Heidi more than sitting with the ladies in a rural village!) Soon, she was off to Mozambique for 15 months of on-the-job training! And soon after that, she launched into a life of overseas ministry.
For the past 9 years, Heidi (along with her husband, Randy) led an English-language coaching center in South Asia, helping people to harness the power of an international language in order to reach their dreams. She also demonstrated Christ--in the way that she interacted with university and older students, while praying for ladies in the community or leading small-group Bible studies with those who sought to know more about Christ. On July 25th, Heidi went to be with the Lord, after a massive brain hemorrhage 5 days earlier. She was buried in the country that she loved and wanted to give her life to. A verse that had been important to Heidi in recent years was: “Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains a single seed. But if it perishes, it will produce many seeds.” Though she would say that she was “Just simple me,” family, friends, students, & neighbors all testify to the amazing impact that one “ordinary life” can have when devoted to Jesus.