Carolyn Gilbert speaking to women
Carolyn Gilbert speaking to women

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (BNc) by Ronald D. Gilbert — My wife Carolyn and I started our long journey to Malaysia Apr. 1. We arrived early Wednesday morning Apr. 3.

We were scheduled to conduct several gospel meetings, teacher workshops, seminars, and a youth day. We were to work with four different congregations. At the end of our trip, we planned to go to Singapore to conduct a meeting at the Jurong congregation and visit with the brethren at Four Seas Bible College.

Carolyn’s mother had been in the nursing home for about three years. She was not in good health, but was doing OK when we departed for this trip.

We had been there for only two days when we got word that her mother had taken a turn for the worse. The third day there we were told that her kidneys and liver had stopped functioning.

After preaching on Sunday morning at Subang Jaya, I turned on my cell phone and had a text to call home. When we called, we discovered her mother had passed away.

On Monday, Apr. 8, we started our journey home. We were fortunate to get on flights and return home on such short notice. Some of the flights we were on every seat was taken.

We arrived home on Tuesday, Apr. 9, and drove to Pikeville, Tenn, for visitation at the funeral home. On Wednesday, Apr. 10, Carolyn’s mom, Mary Ann Seals, was buried.

Three years ago, while we were in Malaysia, we received word that Carolyn’s father had passed away due to an accident.

I am thankful for my good wife and her love for the Lord and her willingness to travel around the world helping take the precious gospel of Christ “into all the world.”

Our thanks for the many cards and calls and prayers and words of encouragement given to our family. We plan to go back next year and continue our work and efforts there.

Ronald is the Director of International Bible Teaching Ministries. This story appeared in the May, 2013, issue of The Seeker.



  1. I really feel for Carolyn! Thanks for sharing Ronald’s message. I imagine every one of us who has traveled overseas or on this continent, to do mission work has felt those same concerns. The last 3 years of Mom’s life, when she was in her 90’s and having some heart problems, I had this concern, but she said, “if you believe God wants you to go, then you need to go; I’ll be ok.” She went to be with the Lord in 2009, the year I didn’t go. I will be leaving in less than two weeks to go teach in my 11th year in Hungary and to visit with my WEI online students in Albania and Montenegro (no congregation there, only a teenage girl who became a Christian in 2010 after studying online, and has been faithful and dedicated, worshipping on Skype each Lord’s Day). May God protect us and our loved ones while we’re apart.

  2. I question the wisdom of one leaving an aged parent if there are indications of demise, which can occur quite quickly. I’ve learned that from experience. There is little nobility in not being around IF you could be. Nobody, however, can really foretell the future.