|Sister Irene Brunsveld|
Sister Irene has always related her ministry to a watering can: Just as a watering can keeps plants alive, so she wants to water those experiencing difficult times with her love, kindness and compassion - where there is need, to be present with hands and heart. 'This is only possible if we receive and remain connected to the source of living water'.
Now 76, Sister Irene is far from silent, or 'retiring'. She does a lot of pastoral care. She makes visits to people in Amerongen. She has an extensive network of acquaintances, and visits the retired sisters who live in Elim. As she looks back on her years of diaconal service, she reflects: 'It's been worth it. I've had a rich life, and enjoy every day of God's faithfulness and good care'.
Sister Irene is part of the DWF member association, Zendings-Diaconessenhuis Bethanie
We celebrate Sister Irene's life, her witness and service, and her courage to respond to and pursue God's call on her life. We give thanks for her ministry, and her example of practical care and compassion - 'a watering can' for all those who thirst in life. And in celebrating Sister Irene's life, we are reminded of the iconic figure of Abram who left his country and kin in response to God's call on his life, and we recognize again the faithful of every generation and expand our awareness of a great company of witnesses above and around us like a cloud (Hebrews 12:1). Such awareness lifts us out of a preoccupation with our own immediate situation and the discouragements of the present. In the knowledge that others have persevered, we are encouraged to endure against all odds (Hebrews 12:1-2). And we are reminded that God has been with the faithful of the past, and so we are reassured that God is with us today. Thanks be to God!