From Sounds of GRN magazine (2024)

Faith Honored


Sports franchises have their Halls of Fame. Hebrews 11 has its “Hall of Faith.” For instance, Elijah was a person like us, but was able to do amazing things as he put his faith in God. Many “Hall of Famers” have emerged in modern missions history. William Carey said, “Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God.” Hudson Taylor reminded us, “God’s work done in God’s way will not lack God’s supply.” Missionary martyrs, some famous and some  unsung, gave their lives in faith.

Columbia International University (CIU) now has their own Hall of Faith. In a November 3, 2023, ceremony, the school inducted Joy Ridderhof and five others to their Hall of Faith. Joy was a member of the first class at then Colombia Bible College. The school has named a large classroom/research/archive building in her honor.

In 1937, doctors told Joy her missionary career was over because of her health. Joy had every excuse to retire and say, “Well I tried my best to reach those people in Honduras.” Instead, she said, “When our plans fail, God has a better plan.” That plan was revealed to Joy in the form of phonograph records in Spanish. It was a small start, but faith doesn’t need to see the end of the story. Joy’s first steps were comparable to the Israelites stepping into the Red Sea before they saw it drying up. Joy took another huge step  of faith when she realized that there were so many out there who speak other languages and could benefit from hearing the Good News on recordings in their native tongues.

Joy’s faith extended to finances. She took a leaf from Hudson Taylor’s book and determined to ask God alone to supply her personal needs and those of her growing mission. Ask for a free copy of Faith by Hearing for some intriguing stories of Joy’s faith.

When Joy graduated to her heavenly home, she left behind her legacy of faith to the GRN staff. She is now one of those  witnesses alluded to in Hebrews 11. She taught us to look for God’s “better plan,” to take steps of faith when common sense   dictated otherwise, and to consistently press toward our goal to “Tell the Story of Jesus in Every Language.”