Tuesday, June 26, 2007
The end sometimes comes all too suddenly. Such was the case as Penny Mann, our GSC colleague, finished her three-year ministry at the Gandhi School in Pecs. Three years ago Penny arrived as a shy, unassuming young woman who accepted the challenge of living in a second culture (Hungarian) and working with teenagers within a third culture (Gypsy). Penny stepped immediately into the classroom to teach conversational English, assumed responsibility for weekly on-campus Bible studies with the students, became a class sponsor and visited in many Gypsy homes, played soccer on as many teams as her stamina would allow, and directed the Photography Club. She left Hungary last week as an assertive and confident teacher who had earned the respect of her school director, had gained the friendship of many of her peers on staff and more importantly, the love of her students. Those students gifted Penny with a journal of goodbye notes and drawings describing the impact she had had on their lives. I (Ralph) was privileged to read these and stand more convinced than ever that Penny became a conduit of God’s love for these Gypsy kids. You will find one of these notes from Timi below.
Penny went from being a colleague to becoming a friend to becoming a family member in the Stocks household over these past three years. She has impacted each of us individually. She shared in our celebrations and disappointments. We are enriched by her friendship and we will miss her deeply. We wish her God’s greatest blessings!
Written by Gandhi student, Timi:
"My best friend Penny,
How can I start it? I found in you a REALLY good friend, who is so special for me. You gave to me a lot of love from you and helped to me many times. I never forget it! You have to remember always smiling, because if you smiling your life will be the best in the world! I’ll be miss you so much!
You know you meaning for me a lot, you are my second sister, so close to me, I can’t believe I loose you! You have to know you always be my best friend and sister! I hope you felt my love, because I always wanted to know do you feel it. I tell you a secret: I love you so much better like my mother, this is really true because I can’t love her much like you. I don’t know why, but it is true!! Oh God! YOU ARE THE BEST IN THE WORLD! I never seen person like you!! When I wrote this I was think about the last things what we did together. Who is forever love you – Timi"