On December 8, 2014, Gillian Melissa O'Blenes-Kaufman passed away peacefully. She will be lovingly remembered for her love, compassion, zest for life, creativity, and unwavering faith in our Lord. She has inspired all of us to live life fully, no matter the circumstances.
Gillian’s joy of life and the love she showed towards everyone, whether a long time friend or a new acquaintance, will be something that those of us who had the privilege of knowing her will always remember. She came to Mexico on a Youth Mission Trip in August this year…something that her doctors anticipated she would not be able to do.
She not only came, but she served alongside the other youths happily and faithfully, not missing any of the ministry activities. As part of the gospel program that the team presented, Gillian created a beautiful chalk art picture, at times receiving a round of applause from the audience. She approached every day with a smile on her face and exuded contagious joy to those she ministered to as she played a game with a child or created the chalk art. One would not have guessed that she was battling cancer given her attitude in the face of adversity!
She deeply impacted those of us on the trip with her, as well as those we served in Mexico. Gillian was a creative and talented artist and dancer. The “Welcome to C-Quest” sign at our ministry base in Progreso was beautifully designed and painted by Gillian. This will always serve as a reminder of her loving presence, and will welcome future team members for years to come.
Throughout her journey, Gillian showed grace, compassion, strength, and an unwavering faith in the love, power and wisdom of our Lord. Her enthusiasm for LIFE and LIVING was contagious. Even though her prognosis was poor, she chose to focus on living life to the fullest. This is an amazing life lesson and gift that she has given to each of us. We are blessed to have had the opportunity to know Gillian and be a part of her journey.
Gillian, we will miss you! We thank God for the gift of having you in our lives!