12 Oct Day 3: Michelle

“Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you are with me.”
Psalm 23:4


Michelle, our cosmetology course instructor, is Miss Congeniality. She’s a great teacher and takes a real interest in her students. When she and her husband took young graduate Rhai under their wing (remember him from yesterday’s prayer?)—even asking him to be their baby’s Godfather—they could not have predicted what was going to happen.

Michelle’s pregnancy was high-risk, and she was bedridden for the final trimester. Shortly after the baby was born, her apartment flooded and all the furnishings were destroyed. Rhai not only helped the family clean up the mess, but used his own money, from one of his first paychecks, to buy the baby a new crib!

Then Michelle fell and needed knee surgery. While she was at the hospital, it was discovered that she had thyroid cancer. The throat incision was extensive—from one ear to the other—but the cancer was removed, and she begin chemo. Meanwhile, her older daughter, 15, started having severe skin infections over her entire body and was finally asked to stay home from school. Although still uncertain, there is a pending diagnosis of lupus.

On disability, struggling with post-partum depression, and facing enormous medical bills, Michelle planned to take her own life.   Her husband found out and, not knowing what do to, frantically reached out to Rhai. This resulted in two wonderful outcomes. First, Rhai almost literally talked her back from the edge. He told Michelle how much she meant to him and so many other children and how much her life had value.  In the process, Rhai discovered what it feels like to use your life as an instrument to help others.

Today, Michelle is back at work, and Rhai has decided to pursue psychology, having discovered that he enjoys listening and helping those in need talk things through.
How many of us are like Michelle? We are loving, capable people who bless so many people, but sometimes we find it hard to feel blessed.  The minute we’re unable to serve, we feel useless. I learned an incredible lesson watching these two, as the teacher/student roles were reversed.

Pray for all of our dedicated staff who are not working for the salary or benefits, but because they want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. None of them have much by our standards, yet they feel blessed enough to want to bless others.

Father, we thank you for Michelle and all of our staff who have made sacrifices to serve at Hope. Help us to keep each of them in our prayers as they go through valleys in their personal lives.