Twenty one years ago this month we arrived in Bangladesh when Liz was two and the boys were four and five. Steve started teaching right away in the MK school, set up an ESL class for hospital staff and led a mid week Bible study. It was a wonderful year for us as a family.  The work was rewarding and important, but by October  we were feeling burnt out and homesick.

In our stress and loneliness we were encouraged and ministered to by Carol Stagg, Aunt Carol to our kids. Dick was the medical director of the hospital, demonstrating the love of Christ with his care, courtesy and kindness in a needy land. Carol had, and still has, the gift of hospitality, encouraging and blessing all who ever had the privilege of entering her home. We will never forget how she miraculously produced a ham for us at Canadian Thanksgiving, and a 17-layer torte, washed down with A&W root beer. Or her house magically decorated at Christmas, with her tree bejeweled with light and a special gift for each of our children nestled beneath its branches.

Her ministry was made all the more remarkable by her indomitable courage. You see, Carol suffers from lupus, a cruel disease which was made worse by exposure to sunlight. Yet in obedience to God, here she was in Bangladesh, where the temperature at midday would rise to 40 degrees Celsius, ministering for Christ in love to all who came her way. We were humbled and strengthened not only by what she did for us, but for her remarkable example of Christlikeness.

Now this dear saint and friend has been diagnosed with lung cancer. We know that she will face this new trial to her health with the same determined spirit, and will continue to witness of God’s sustaining presence in the midst of suffering. We would ask for your prayers for this faithful servant of Christ. May He be merciful to one who has borne so much for Him.