August/ September 2018 - Vol. 99
“Taken By Love”  A Tribute to Beth Melchor
A Senior Woman Leader of the Sword of the Spirit
and a Founding Member of Bethany Association

Our dear sister Beth Melchor passed away on June 26, 2018, in Manila, Philippines, after enduring a long and valiant fight with cancer over the past several years. 

Beth was one of the founding sisters of Bethany Association, the international network for women living single for the Lord in the Sword of the Spirit. A member of Ang Ligaya ng Panginoon (The Joy of the Lord), she served as a senior woman leader in the community and outreaches since she was a young woman and was a member of the International Women’s Coordinating Committee of the Sword of the Spirit.

In a tribute spoken to Beth shortly before she died, Mae Legaspi, also a senior woman leader of Ligaya and member of Bethany Association, said:
“You have always been so simple, always seen by all as loving the Lord with all your heart, mind, and strength, always willing and ready to go the length to express your love for Him. . . . You love God’s people as well. You are kind and generous to them. You live so simply to give to the Lord and to His work! . . .You are a deeply loyal and faithful friend as many attest. You keep in touch. You remain a friend in spite of distance, circumstances, different beliefs and lifestyle. . . .Your greatest legacy to me is showing me how to live as a child of God, as a disciple, in good and in bad times, in plenty and in need, in sickness and in health, in joy and in pain. You are doing it very well, Beth! Your spouse and friend is mighty proud of you.”
And from Jhola Salazar, a fellow Ligaya member who serves in CYA and is also currently on the Bethany Association council:
“Our dear sister, Beth, has finally come home to her Beloved. We pray that the Lord will bestow upon her the crown of glory and the joy of everlasting life which she has lived for all her days.”
Bethany Association team

Jeanne Kun, Past President of the Bethany Association council and a senior woman leader in The Word of Life community (Ann Arbor, Michigan) who frequently served internationally with Beth, writes:
“When I reflect and think of Beth, I could tell of her many gifts and virtues. In her professional life, Beth was a highly intelligent and talented professor of Mathematics, Physics, and Theology, as well as a skilled and efficient administrator. And regarding Beth's more than 40 years of community life and service in Ligaya and internationally in the Sword of the Spirit, I could recount how she was insightful, kind, steadfast, trustworthy as she gave of her time and resources and energy with generosity and fervor and zeal for the Lord and for us, His people. And in her life consecrated to living single for the Lord, Beth was an ardent and fervent lover of God.”

“So now, as I think of Beth, I most of all remember her as a dear friend and as a woman who had been ‘taken by love’ as she titled the book she wrote about her journey from being a rebellious youth to being a missionary of the Lord. Let me end my reflections here with the words that Beth herself wrote at the conclusion of that book:”
Life is a pilgrimage, and we are on our way home. What awaits us our minds cannot comprehend. ‘Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it so much as dawned on man what God has prepares for those who love Him’ (1 Corinthians 2:9). So let us run the race and see each other at the finish line. I began my race “taken by love.” At the finish line, love will take me home. Love is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. And when our race is done on earth, we will rest forever in the eternal embrace of love.

From Andy Juan’s Eulogy at Beth Melchor’s Funeral

(Presiding Coordinator of Ligaya)

I thank the Melchor family for sharing a wonderful woman with us from the very early stages of her life. We thank you for raising up a daughter like Beth, for planting seeds of love and generosity in her heart that allowed her to be generous to us and to all those whom she has served. Generosity begets generosity. Beth slipped out from this earthly life last Tuesday, your 89th birthday Tita Charito (Beth’s mother). And yet you call it the greatest birthday gift - because you fully know that you have a ‘saint’ in heaven! Only a spiritual woman can have that perspective and utter those words. We thank you for your strength and inspiration!

And to us in the Ligaya, we can only be thankful and grateful for what the Lord has done for Beth and for us. How blessed are we to once again, witness and experience the love and offering of a person, and be amazed of what God is capable of doing, if only one is willing to give one’s life fully.

“My life is not my own, it’s yours for whatever you choose to do with it.”— a line from one of the songs sang at Mass last night. Its a declaration of total surrender, of complete abandonment, of not holding back, of giving it our all. May we all be inspired and be given the grace to do the same. And brothers and sisters, Beth would be happiest, if we continue running the race, faithful to our way of life, loving and serving one another and bringing others to a personal knowledge of Jesus Christ. While we mourn her loss in this earthly life, we celebrate the victory of Christ in her immortal life.

Beth, a grateful Ligaya wants to thank you - for a life well lived and shared. Yes, you have fought the good fight, ran and finished the race. You have kept the faith! Pray for us that we too may finish ours one day.
Taken by Love book cover
Taken by Love: From a Rebellious Youth to a Missionary in China

by Elizabeth Melchor
The collecton of personal stories and reflections in this book traces the author's experience of encountering the immense love of God - from her conversion to her entry into the renewal; and her experience of God's love even amidst sickness. It tells of amazing miracles and numerous blessings. The stories relate how God leads His Beloved in this wonderful pilgrimage of life from a once rebellious youth to a missionary in China.

Published in 2015 through Shepherd's Voice Publications, Inc., under its self-publishing arm: lifedreams books, Quezon City, Phlippines.

See previous articles written by Beth Melchor in past issues of Living Bulwark:
>  A Bride of Christ, August 2017 Issue
An Invitation to Joyful Witness of the Gospel, June 2014 Issue
Embracing the “Present, February 2014 Issue
Celebrating Life's Blessings, May 2007 Issue  
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