Can you imagine taking three young children to live in Saigon, Vietnam, in 1966? That’s what Mary and Jim Humphries did!
Mary Humphries lived a full life for 88 years! She was born May 10, 1933, and passed away on June 18, 2021. She was a daughter, sister, wife (to Jim), mother (to Matt, Mark, and Tracy), grandmother (to seven), great-grandmother (to three), a pastor’s wife (in Oklahoma, Vietnam, Texas), a missionary (to Vietnam, 1966-1973), President for WMU of Texas (1992-1996), a mentor to many…to name a few of the hats she wore.
Mary was spunky and always had a twinkle in her eye, and she was always ready to tackle anything that came her way. As I reflect on the years of knowing Mary through WMU of Texas, I always remember that twinkle as she talked about what she loved most - the Lord, her family, WMU, missionaries, and the church. Also, she was fun to be around. These are just a few of the many reasons why it was an honor to attend and represent WMU of Texas at her memorial service on July 10 in Tyler, Texas.
When I first met Mary, I couldn’t stop thinking about her and Jim being missionaries in Vietnam. I wondered how on earth they could take three little children so far away to Vietnam, a war-torn place in the news since 1955. A place we prayed for, a lot. But that’s what we do when we follow the Lord’s Call— we enter tough places. And it was amazing to hear her son, Matt, say, “It was a wonderful place to grow up!”
Mary was an encourager and she was one to me too. I was a young pastor’s wife and involved with WMU and she encouraged me in those two areas. I remember how surprised and impressed I was to hear that she, as the pastor’s wife, cooked each Wednesday night for the entire church!
Mary also memorized several passages of scripture through the years and toward the end of her life, even with some dementia, she would still quote those Scriptures verbatim. I Corinthians 13, Psalm 23, and Matthew 28:16-20 were just a few, and she lived out those verses throughout her life.
She was a great example of a Christian woman, pastor’s wife, missionary, and WMU advocate. She reached many for Christ in Vietnam and Texas through cooking, English as a second language, and discipleship. Mary Humphries—truly a life well-lived!
Written by Earl Ann Bumpus, WMU of Texas President
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