Several years ago, I “met” a fellow missionary through some mutual friends. We never actually met in person, but through sharing emails and messages, it was easy to see she was a kindred spirit. She was a missionary to her home country and people of Colombia, the same country I had grown to love as a teenager when my family lived there as missionaries. And while my Spanish wasn’t great, Martha’s English was quite good, and we were able to communicate and build a sweet friendship.
Martha had been blessed by reading my blog, and one day she offered to translate my blog posts into Spanish, so that more people could read them and be encouraged. I was so happy and grateful for her kindness and willingness to do this! She happily gave her time and energy to translate all my posts after that.
Then a few years ago, Martha had a severe stroke, and we didn’t know if she would make it. So many people were praying for her, and miraculously God brought her through! However, she had months of intensive therapy, and never regained full function. Even after all of that, she told me she wanted to keep translating my blog posts, that it was a privilege for her. So I started sending them to her again, and she kept on translating them faithfully and joyfully...until recently.
Earlier this month Martha went to be with Jesus. While I knew she was still dealing with complications from the stroke, it was surprising news to hear she was no longer fighting the earthly battle.
I’m no stranger to grief. And yet, somehow it takes me by surprise every time. I thought Martha and I still had plenty of time to encourage and cheer each other on. Now she is Home, and I’m processing the loss of her presence on this earth.
I rejoice that she is with Jesus, and she is completely healed and whole!
I miss her already, and wish we could have one more text conversation, full of her faith-filled words and cheerful encouragement.
I’m sad that her translated words will no longer grace future blog posts.
I’m so grateful for all the posts she did translate, which will hopefully continue to encourage Spanish-speaking readers for many years to come.
I pray that her friends and family will find comfort in knowing she ran her race well and is now enjoying eternity with her Savior.
I know her life’s impact will continue to bear fruit and bring glory to God.
I honor her for a life well-lived, for letting Jesus shine through her so brightly, and for being a blessing in the lives of so many!
I wish had more eloquent words to give tribute to my friend, my sister in Christ, this beautiful daughter of the King…but since I’m feeling at a loss today, I’ll just say this –
Martha, you are missed. You are loved. You made a beautiful difference in this world and for eternity. Until we meet again my friend, enjoy the glorious life you have graduated to…and give Jesus a hug for me!