Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Do not grieve like men who have no hope . . . .

1 Thes. 4:13 has been screaming in my head this week.  Last Friday we lost a wonderful woman on our team.  Ania (on the right) lost her very short fight with cancer.   Just 3 weeks ago she was diagnosed with a tumor near her heart and lungs.  She was in the hospital all that time to undergo tests and radiology.  They were taking a week break testing, so she wanted to go home.  That night (early Friday morning) she went to sleep, only to wake up in the presence of our Lord.   
Her husband, Piotr is their church's youth pastor and a leader in our JVPoland organization.  Last week, he lead a huge, 4-day evangelistic event that had been planned for months.   He would be at the event in the day and then go to the hospital to be with Ania in the evening.  I have always admired the show of love that Piotr and Ania had for each other, their kids and the youth group. 

For me, Ania was the picture of grace and hospitality.  We could not speak very long to each other due to my lack of Polish, but she always talked to me on my language level and made sure that felt welcomed and loved.  She was a great model to other women with how to love young people and invest in them while having a family too.  She was everyone's "mom" and the youth group in their church knew that Ania was always there for them. 

About 4 weeks ago, Laura, Jola and I were in Nowy Tomyśł (Ania's home) to have a post camp meeting with their church.  Ania was in pain(she did not know what was wrong with her) yet, she served us and would not let us help.  She loved us and even as we prayed for her, I felt blessed more than my trying to bless her.

Today Piotr, Olywia and Jacob will be saying "good-bye" to their wife and mother.  Our hearts are heavy  and we are still in shock, yet we are filled with the hope of Christ that we will be reunited with her someday!  Thank you Lord, for giving us Ania and for the example she was to me.

Please pray for Piotr, Olywia and Jacob as they mourn and adjust to life without their wife and mom.  The coming weeks and months will not be easy as each have to struggle with the reality of death and God's will and timing.  Thank you for your prayers! 

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