Most people did not know that my colleague in the Immigrant Hope office, Renee Young, had been battling cancer for 21 years. She has been through surgeries, stem cell transplant, and many different forms of chemotherapy. This Spring, the cancer started to grow again and despite all medical treatments, she died on August 22nd. Renee was our office manager and immigration counselor and her absence leaves a big hole in our operation.
At her memorial service, we shared some of the tributes from her clients. Here are a couple of them:
Renee was one of the most positive thinking persons I have ever met in the U.S. She understood my feelings and always had an open ear to all of my issues with my case.
What a sweet lady! The way that she spoke to me, I will cherish forever.
She was such an amazing person. The Spirit of God was in her. My kids loved her. She was one in a million.
Renee has served in urban ministry and has stood firm on issues of justice for the poor and the immigrant. Memorial gifts were designated for victims of human trafficking.
She herself had lived in a cycle of poverty as a child in a single parent home. As a believer and a minister, she wanted to communicate God’s heart for those in need. We need more ambassadors of justice. We need those who can point out blind spots and help us to love as Jesus loved.
One of her favorite verses was Micah 6:8:
He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.