Ida has struggled with alcohol for years. She lost stable employment and severely strained her family relationships, especially with her mother. Last summer she left the Newberg Community Shelter due to drinking after being informed that she would need to be sober to stay in the house.

A couple of months ago, after being sober for six weeks, Ida asked to move back into the house. She had been attending AA five days a week and was very serious about wanting to take steps toward a new life. Within a few days of being back in the house, she shared with our volunteer, Carol that she had a lump in her breast that needed attention. Carol got her scheduled for a mammogram within 24 hours.

After a biopsy it was determined that she had advanced breast cancer. Carol asked Ida if she could contact Ida’s mother just to inform her of the diagnosis. After speaking with Carol, Ida’s mom called Ida to talk. It had been three years since she had spoken to her daughter! Ida reported that they had a wonderful conversation and that it was great to talk to her mom and not have to ask her for anything. “Every time I called her in the past it was because I needed something from her. This time, we just talked, because now I have everything I need.”

Shortly after this conversation with her mother, Ida learned that her cancer had spread into her bones and was too advanced to cure. She is learning to accept her prognosis and has a strong faith in Jesus as she approaches the end of her life. She is thankful that the door has been opened to reconciling with her mother and other family members.

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.”

2 Corinthians 5:17-19 (NLT)