Yesterday we welcomed family and friends of Janet to our Church for a farewell memorial service. Janet was a refugee who had played a special part in our church life over the last couple of years. She was a gentle woman of God, who prayed and read her bible and did much to help others.
I had met her a few years ago when she was destitute, and we supported her in getting housing, medical support and ultimately, immigration status. It was a long hard struggle, and she had to put up with ill health, (she was HIV positive) casual discrimination and racism, and extreme poverty. Yet my overwhelming memory of her, was not one of a victim, but one someone who was helper to many. She often brought new people to our community whom she new we could help. She recognised the way God was a work in our church, and prayed for our ministry constantly.
We told the story of Luke 18 v 1-8 - the widow working for justice constantly. It ends with the question; 'When the son of man comes, will he find such faith on earth?'
In Janet, he finds that faith, and she will remain an inspiration to all who got to know this quiet and loving woman.