Sunday, May 6, 2012

Tribute to a friend

This past Thursday, a godly lady I had the privilege of calling friend went to Heaven.

When hubby and I first began our missionary journey in Ukraine 10 years ago {long before this blog}, we had the joy and privilege of working alongside the Hudson family.  Other missionary families later joined us, but for a couple of years, our two families worked together alone.

I have many joyous memories of our five years of partnering with the Hudsons... holidays shared, ministry opportunities, family outings..., before the Lord led us to move 12 hours south of them, to the southern region of Ukraine.  During our time with them, it was a pleasure to move out to a village to help them start a brand new work, which continues today under Matt Hudson's pastoral leadership.

Just two months ago, one week prior to the Hudson's return to Ukraine after a furlough in America, Catherine was diagnosed with Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer, which metastasized and moved to her liver.  Chemotherapy was started immediately, but complications of double pneumonia took her life just 8 weeks later.

I looked up to Catherine with respect and admiration for her love and devotion to her husband, children, and ministry.  Most importantly, she had an obvious love and devotion to the Lord which were an encouragement and example to me.

I realize that I was one of few people who saw Catherine live and work on the mission field.  As a witness of her dedication, I can confidently tell you that she was the epitome of an ideal Proverbs 31 lady.  She sweetly and lovingly carried out her daily responsibilities, even when life was not always comfortable in a third-world country.

My heart goes out to Matt and their three children Daniel (age 16), Rachel (age 13), and Deborah (age 11).  Their loss is deep, as Catherine was a rare treasure.

May the hope of Heaven sustain Catherine's family during their painful days ahead and may Christ's love embrace them when they need it the most.

30 comments:

  1. Jolene, that was very nice. I love the collage you did!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very nice tribute.

    ReplyDelete
  3. We love this family. What a beautiful tribute!! Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Very nice. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a sweet tribute. I am so sorry for the loss of your friend. And, I will be praying for her husband and children.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great tribute to a special Lady and her family!

    ReplyDelete
  7. A loving tribute. We learned of this Saturday on our church Facebook page. Our prayers are wrapped around the family.

    ReplyDelete
  8. beautiful tribute. Will pray for the Hudsons

    ReplyDelete
  9. How sad the loss of such a beautiful soul...how great Heaven's gain!!! Praying for this sweet family who has encouraged and blessed you.

    ReplyDelete
  10. DeeDee SterlingMonday, May 07, 2012

    Very nice!

    ReplyDelete
  11. very beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  12. What a beautiful tribute to a very precious, godly lady! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Such a blessing! *Hugs* We have been so blessed to have such wonderful, Godly friends! God's so good...all the time. ♥♥♥

    ReplyDelete
  14. What a beautiful tribute to Catherine. We have been praying as a church for her and her family and now beseeching the Lord on behalf of her precious family. John 14:1-3 are precious words at this time.
    Praying all is well with you and your family. I have been enjoying David's emails about Israel.
    Longing to see you again.
    Love to you,
    Vicki

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am sorry to hear that you lost your friend with whom you started your ministry.
    Actually, Ukraine belongs to the 2nd World country not 3rd :-) “just saying to let you know :-)”

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_World

      When speaking of Ukraine economically, we say "third-world." When speaking of Ukraine politically, you can say "second-world," though this is a term that has fallen out of use since 1989.

      The best way I could have worded that, though, would have been a "developing country." Sorry about that!

      Delete
  16. We're praying on this side of the ocean.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Jolene:

    Thank you for the beautiful tribute – an amazing honor to Catherine and her faithful testimony. I just talked to Bro. Ross a few minutes ago…………praying so much for their family. Love you! Thankful for you – too!! You’re such an example to me!! Love you – friend.

    Malinda

    ReplyDelete
  18. Jolene,
    I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your friend. Her family (and yours) are in my prayers. A beautiful tribute indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Praying for this sweet family.

    ReplyDelete
  20. This is beautiful Jolene... praying for this precious family today.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Saw your brother tonight, David, at our college baccalaureate. The one who pastors in NM--Joel, I think? Was nice to meet him. I'm so sorry about your friend. We know not what a day may bring forth, do we? Praying for her family. Love you all.

    Mrs. Z

    ReplyDelete
  22. You are so kind. It clearly reflects your personality in the writing.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thank you for sharing that Jolene. Our family and church has been praying for Catherine, now we are praying for the Ross and Hudson families.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Eric and I just prayed for this family. Our hearts are breaking for them as they were such a blessing and encouragement to us during our first term.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Oh Jolene! I only just saw this. Heartbroken for Bro. Ross.

    ReplyDelete
  26. it sure is sad....I'm gonna miss Ms. Catherine <3 And we had just seen her shortly before she died!!! and it seemed like she was in the perfect picture of health...yet none of us knew at the time that anything was going on.....that anything was wrong.... <3 I'm glad that she is with the Lord now, though. I wonder what it's like (: <3

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for your encouraging comments! "As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country." Proverbs 25:25