Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A tribute blog

Two posts from me in one day! Your lives are just overflowing with good things!

I wanted to take a minute and write a post about a wonderful Christian woman that went home to be with her Lord on Monday evening. When I lived in Ukraine, I was still fairly young, and it was not safe/appropriate for me to live on my own. Therefore, I had to have a roommate. Fortunately, soon after I arrived, an older American woman also arrived in the city where I was working. Her name was Gloria, and she had been on long trips to Ukraine many times before. She didn't speak Russian or Ukrainian, had battled cancer in the past, so was not terribly mobile, and didn't come over with any intention of teaching theology or leading bible studies (the two main reasons people tended to come over from the US). Gloria just came to Ukraine and loved people. Without question, without reservation. She just loved them. This meant that our flat was full of people. All the time. People who were struggling with something, people who were excited about something and wanted to share their news with her. A lot of the people didn't speak English, and Gloria didn't speak Russian, yet they all managed somehow to communicate.

To be honest, the crowds of people in the flat tended to drive me batty. I like my space and my time. But over and over again, I saw how her hospitality and her patience and her love affected their lives. People loved her and were drawn to her Christ-like spirit that she showed everywhere she went.

Gloria's cancer returned last fall, and on Monday night she lost the battle and went home. I know that there was much rejoicing at her homecoming, and that she is now pain-free and safe in the arms of the One who she followed so faithfully and modeled so well here on earth.

Gloria, I was blessed to know you. You will be missed.

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