“And I heard a voice from heaven saying, ‘write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ‘Blessed indeed’, says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labours, for their deeds follow them!’” [Revelation 14:14 ESV]
Colin and Linda Gibb came to Namibia in the course of 2001, having been seconded here by the Standard Bank. Very soon they visited our church were united with the Eastside Baptist Church in membership on the 2nd December 2001. Eastside Baptist Church had gone through some very challenging years, and God knew that we needed a man of Colin’s stature. Much could be written and much could be said about his ability to encourage the discouraged and the fainthearted. His calm demeanor was rooted in his confidence in Christ.
Colin was one of our first ordained elders, for before this, Eastside Baptist Church did not have a plurality of elders. Colin had been an elder in his previous church for 18 years and thus came with that experience, maturity and humility which we so desperately needed.
He was very hands on and practical in so many ways - physically and spiritually. The pulpit at Eastside, from which the Word of God goes out every week to this day, is his handiwork. Colin loved the Word of God read and expounded. He made it his point to encourage the pastor regularly. And who will forget his ability to play Amazing Grace on the bagpipes?
Apart from shepherding God’s people as an elder he had a keen interest in the development of missionary thinking and strategy of the church. He was instrumental in drawing up our first mission’s policy.
Colin loved the work of prayer and was a faithful supporter of the weekly prayer meeting.
During their period in Namibia, Colin survived a heart attack and a near fatal aircraft incident in which the pilot managed to land the aircraft safely on one of Namibia’s many dirt roads. One of the passengers on the aircraft was said to have glanced back at Colin whilst the crisis was developing, only to see him smiling, and from then on she said that, “I knew that all would be well”.
Colin and Linda (and of course Granny Marge Thomas, Linda’s mother) left us in 2005 – now 17 years ago, to return to South Africa – and all too early for our liking. They had been a spiritual encouragement and a father and mother to many in our church. We were privileged to have had them for those few years. God truly adds people gifts to His church (Romans 1:11, 12) at appropriate times, and then He subtracts them - also in His time.
The time had now come for this valiant soldier to move not to another place on earth, but now to His heavenly home and on to His heavenly reward.
Colin, in Christ we salute you, with thankful hearts. You have been an example of a faithful Christian and a true elder and brother in the Lord.