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Story comes full circle, under incredible circumstances

Added on Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The following blog was written by a Twin Cities Salvation Army caseworker 

One of the first food shelf guests I ever helped was a woman who looked exhausted, frail, and thin. I met her when I first started working for The Salvation Army, as an intern, over a year ago.

As I began gathering food for the woman, I asked how she was doing today.

“Tired,” she replied.

The woman explained that she had been diagnosed with cancer and could not eat solid foods. On top of her cancer treatments, she had seven children to feed, and she hadn’t been well enough to work in months. ‘Tired’ must be an understatement, I thought.

I wanted to ask the woman if I could pray with her. Unfortunately, I lacked the confidence to ask.

As the woman left The Salvation Army, I regretted not asking. Every night since then, I prayed for the woman, whose name I never wrote down.

Little did I know, I would meet the woman again, under incredible circumstances.

One year later

The Salvation Army eventually hired me as a full-time caseworker. I soon began working with a family enrolled in Pathway of Hope – a long-term Salvation Army counseling program that helps low-income families out of crisis and into stability.

This particular family had already enrolled in Pathway of Hope before I was hired. To get better acquainted with the husband and wife, I scheduled a face-to-face meeting with them. They came to my office and explained some of their goals, such as the husband wanting to land a good job, and getting their eldest son into college.

Additionally, the wife requested bus vouchers so that she could get to her doctor visits, and so that her husband could get to job interviews.

The couple left my office feeling optimistic about their future.


A month later, the husband and wife came to visit me again. They had excellent news: the husband had secured two jobs, their son was enrolled in college, and the wife was done with chemotherapy.

Wait a minute – chemotherapy? I thought.

Suddenly, it dawned on me that the wife was the same “frail” woman I’d helped at the food shelf when I was an intern. She was the same woman I’d been praying for during the past year. She looked so different – so healthy and joyful – that I hadn’t even recognized her.

Immediately, I confessed to the woman that I had already met her a year ago. She said she was grateful to have met me. She said that because of The Salvation Army, she and her husband no longer felt alone; they had received the support and resources they needed to get through difficult times. Best of all, her cancer cells were disappearing. Her words made me so happy.

Suddenly, I felt moved to ask the woman a particular question. And this time, I was not scared to ask it:

“Can I pray with you?” I asked.

The woman smiled. “Yes,” she replied.

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