Thursday, January 14, 2010


I am asking all of my new friends in the blogsophere to please pray for my dear friend Penny. She is battling cancer and it doesn't look good. She's in the hospital and they eventually want to move her to hospice.

Her greatest fear is that she will die alone. Penny is Catholic, and very faithful. When she first came to the mission Penny was an active alcoholic. My hubby the nurse, helped Penny get meds and the things she needed and then she went into recovery and through many struggles, managed to maintain sobriety.

For a long time Penny lived in what we used to call "the convent", upstairs it was a homeless men's shelter, downstairs the single missionary women lived with a few homeless women. Penny cleaned and played house mom to the joint. She kept things neat and tidy and listened and helped and just became the best asset to the shelter. The guys loved her, she gave them food at all hours, helped with their laundry and did the housekeeping for all the ladies. I loved going to visit and have a cup of tea because she made it so homey.

The convent was converted totally into a men's shelter, so Penny was moved into a house with another woman we were helping who has mental health issues. Penny keeps her company and on the right track. Penny also got a job, ironically, at our local cancer hospital and worked her way up. She became a "go to" person at the mission for people who are struggling with alcoholism. She is a crusty old broad who is never afraid to tell the younguns the way it really is. She doesn't let any one off the hook, and lets them know when they are flirting with danger and their sobriety.

All in all, Penny is a good person. She's had a really tough life that included an abusive husband. But through it all, she maintained her faith, kept her faith, and God brought her to us. God brings these precious souls to us. We love them so much.

Please, tonight, before you close your eyes to sleep, pray for Penny, that she is ready for the bridegroom who loves her tenderly, that she lose her fear, and that when it is time to meet Jesus, she will be calm and free.

Pray for my community. We are about to lose one of our beloveds. We have lost too many the last two years. It's started to wear on some of us missionaries. Though we are happy that our friends will be with Jesus, we miss them. It's so hard.

Life can be so hard. Knowing that one day we will all be reunited makes it worth it all. Makes the bitter pill easier to swallow.

Someday in heaven, I will be able to introduce Penny to all of you, the unknown souls to her, that helped to carry her home. Won't we have a great time! It's a good thing it will be for all of eternity!


  1. Michelle, know that Penny will most certainly be in my prayers.

  2. Oh, how sad for you. Your work is heroic. I can only imagine the joy it will be to reunite one day with all those you have helped.

  3. I have something to look forward to always. To see my old friends in heaven, to know that their addictions are gone, their pain is gone. Just an eternity of singing God's praises. God is so good.

  4. Almost exactly a year ago, it was I with cancer and they were considering hospice for me. It's nice to know that if indeed the time for me to be in hospice that there are people like you there. God bless you!