NZCMS Mission Partner, Debbie Jones, passed away while travelling through Ethiopia in June. Lesley gathered with the family and friends in Portland, Oregon, USA on August 14 to celebrate Debbie’s life.
It was a privilege to be able to share, along with Andrew and all the family and many of their friends, an appropriately simple and yet colourful and profound celebration of Debbie’s life. We joined together under some trees at a park in Portland. There was time for people to share their memories of Debbie aloud, in writing or by drawing. We mixed and mingled, shared good food together, and felt Debbie’s presence as people came from different corners of the world to celebrate this woman who had touched our lives (and so many others) with her effervescent love of God, life and all who came across her path.
In a tribute to Debbie’s wild and free nature we sent some of her ashes along with the messages people had written or drawn for Debbie out on the river on a small raft. The wind and the current of the river meant things didn’t turn out quite as had been planned… but that in itself somehow seemed ‘right.’ Debbie was a master of ‘going with the flow’ and revelled in all of life however things turned out.
While she wasn’t with us physically that afternoon, she was with us in many many ways. And while there is some darkness where she is no longer, her way of doing life will continue to inspire and encourage those of us who were lucky enough to have shared life with her.
NZCMS is proud to have had Debbie as one of our Mission Partners and we continue to support Andrew and the family in this next season of their lives.