Tuesday, August 7, 2012


I am staring at a blank screen because I don't know how to write this.

One of the volunteers here, Minnie Pardillo, died Sunday morning at
12:45 AM from cerebral malaria.

From every avenue and angle - everything possible was done by everyone
involved to save her life.

Her death is surreal, shocking, horrifying, senseless.

There are no words.
Yet a thousand pages would not be enough to fully express everything I
am feeling

I was the nurse primarily taking care of her.

I am professionally devastated.

Everyone here is trying to grapple with this and its ramifications in
their own way.

Don't ask us if we are okay because none of us are.

I'm not doing okay.

Not in any way, not even a little bit.

I have never felt as completely wrecked as I do right now.

I feel like all my strength, willpower, passion, love, and endurance has
been emptied onto the dirt and that I'm just sitting there staring at mud.

Myself and everyone here could use your non-judgmental love, support,
encouragement, and prayers.

Minnie was a rare individual in that she was genuine and pure in her
passion for people, and she was dedicated to serving her God no matter
the cost to herself.

She was loving and and kind and steadfast in what she believed to be her
calling - to follow her Jesus no matter where he led her - and to
unselfishly share that Jesus.

She radiated peace, joy, and love and saw people as individuals -
demonstrating in countless ways how much she cared about them personally.

She cared deeply for the Tchadian people, and they for her. She always
prioritized relationships.

I would like to extend my sincere condolences to her family. Please
know that many people's lives were changed and their suffering was
lessened simply because her path merged with theirs.

If there ever was a child of God - this was one.

To quote my friend Cristin: "...she truly believed she was fulfilling
her purpose in life, and that is more than most of us ever achieve."


  1. I will always remember Minnie's sweet spirit and kindness during my visit in Tchad. She made me feel so welcome. I will try to carry a bit of the light she carried; to be one of many to pass the torch forward. Love & Prayers to all.

  2. May God comfort you as you have comforted others. Keep the memory of Minnie alive in your life and service. You ARE an awesome person and God has a precious place for you to fill in His work, too. Blessings, Janna! God's arms of love surround you and those at Bere who did everything possible!

  3. Janna, I just have a whole ton of love in my heart for you in this minute. Just wishing there was something I could do to instill peace in your heart and the hearts of the others there in Bere and beyond. I just finished anne lamott's book traveling mercies and she writes about grief....

    "All those years I fell for the great palace lie that grief should be gotten over as quickly as possible and as privately. But what I've discovered since is that the lifelong fear of grief keeps us in a barren, isolated place and that only grieving can heal grief; the passage of time will lessen the acuteness, but time alone, without the direct experience of grief, will not heal it."

    She talks about losing her best friend...

    "The more often I cried in my room in Ixtapa and felt just generally wretched, the more often I started to have occasional moments of utter joy, of feeling aware of each moment shining for its own momentous sake. I am no longer convinced that you're supposed to get over the death of certain people, but little by little, pale and swollen around the eyes, I began to feel a sense of reception, that I was beginning to receive the fact of Pammy's death, the finality. I let it enter me.....The depth of the feeling continued to surprise and threaten me, but each time it hit again and I bore it, like a nicotine craving, I would discover that it hadn't washed me away. After a while it was like an inside shower, washing off some of the rust and calcification in my pipes. It was like giving a dry garden a good watering. Don't get me wrong; grief sucks; it really does. Unfortunately, though, avoiding it robs us of life, of the now, of a sense of living spirit."

    Love to you, and to everyone there. Love Emily

  4. My prayers that you and Minnie's other friends and family members will receive peace and comfort as you mourn this incomprehensible loss.

  5. I wish I was there to be able to hug you. Love, Iri

  6. "From the ashes of the martyrs has sprung an abundant harvest for God..In health and sickness, in life and death, God uses them still..Often when the servant of God is withdrawn from active duty, the mysterious providence which our short sighted vision would lament is designed by God to accomplish a work that otherwise would never have been done"Acts of the Apostle by EGW.

    I can almost hear the voice of God speaking to Minnie as in Daniel 12-'Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead may to righteousness like the stars forever and ever...As for you Minnie, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance." Bye for now Minnie, see you in the morning..