Johanna Sanders, Feb 1, 1940 - May 19, 2020
Dear friends and fellow Mustard Seed workers.
We give praise to God and thank Him for taking Johanna to be with Him. She has truly been a good and faithful servant of the Most High and has run the race.
Thank you all so much for your loving concern and prayer for mum and our family over this last very short week. Like many others, I was pleading with God to preserve mum and to allow us a little more time with her. But God is good and had determined to take her into His very presence, a most wonderful outcome for mum.
It was only a week ago that mum had a fall near her apartment. At first we assumed a routine fall and mum would need to be checked for any damage, broken bones etc. We were shocked to hear the following day that mum had suffered a heart attack, and that was the reason she had fallen. Amazingly, she had not broken anything.
Over the next couple of days, many more tests were carried out and it was discovered that the septum (wall) separating the left and right ventricles
had ruptured. This is a very uncommon form of heart attack and the specialists explained to us that it is rare and normally associated with when a person has been under extreme stress for a prolonged period – it is literally known as a “broken-heart”. The doctors were very surprised that Johanna actually survived the initial heart attack.
Several more tests were carried out to determine a possible treatment. Nights were the worst for mum and she was resuscitated at least twice that we know of. Eventually, the medical team decided that her heart was deteriorating and her liver was also now becoming impacted and that they should try a procedure to repair the hole in the septum without delay. Mum went into surgery around 3pm but passed away during the operation.
During the short time mum was in the CCU, she was positive, optimistic as usual, and witnessing to every person with whom she came into contact -staff, doctors, patients. She even sang a song (in Dutch) to an elderly Dutch patient who was in a bad way emotionally. I had the special pleasure to spend some time with mum before she went into theatre. She also spoke to me at length about each member of our AMSOInc Board and how much she appreciated each individuals unique gifts and contributions to the ongoing mission. She was very grateful for each one of you and thanked God for your love for Him manifested in your willingness to provide for the downtrodden at Mustard Seed. She was very excited and thankful for the positive keen interest demonstrated by Rob and so enjoyed the interface online with him the other night. I will speak to you more about our discussion at our next board meeting.
As a family, we recognize God’s amazing grace to us, Johanna’s children, in that we were given enough days to each spend time with mum and she with us. This is an incredible blessing.
What a loss! A person like Johanna is rare and we will all miss her optimistic endless pursuit of God’s kingdom and love for others. I can honestly say that I have never come across another person whose willingness for self sacrifice for the benefit of others is as strong as was Johanna’s.
Again, thank you all for your prayerful love and messages of support. Let’s seize the mantle and continue her legacy with great energy and passion and seek the Lord’s support with the valuable ministry that is Mustard Seed. To God be the glory!