I first met Holly Meyer in November of 2001, as I was coming off of an 18-month stint with the Liberated Wailing Wall, the mobile music/evangelism team of Jews for Jesus. Holly was a missionary with the same ministry, married to Stan Meyer, who was at the time leading the South Florida branch of the organization. From the very first, Holly’s warmth and compassion were evident. Since I had been traveling for so long, I had no home to come home to — but she made me feel like their home was mine as I stayed with them until I found a place of my own to live.

During the next few years, as I came to know Holly better, my regard for her as a friend and as a fellow missionary only grew.  Although Holly would be the first to tell you that there were some things she just wasn’t good at (Email. Computers. Databases on computers), anyone who spent any time at all around her knew exactly what she excelled at: sharing the Gospel with anyone God placed in her path. She was a true gem, a gracious and Godly woman who extended the love of Jesus to everyone. She was a great encourager when she saw that you were down or struggling, and her first inclination was to go to prayer.

In March of 2010, Holly was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). This illness is almost always a death sentence, with the victim losing the use of their hands, arms, legs, and feet, eventually being paralyzed with their mind and senses untouched. Although Holly was spared this, her speech, swallowing, and breathing all eventually failed. On November 23, she went peacefully in her sleep to be with her Lord. She leaves behind her husband Stan, and their adopted daughter Carrie, whom Holly traveled all the way to China to get. She also leaves behind a legacy for Carrie, a legacy of a courageous, Christian woman who never failed to give her all to Jesus, and never wavered from her commitment to the mission field to which God called her. Those who visited her in her last few days have shared that even near the end, Holly was requesting prayer for the salvation of a Jewish woman she barely knew, so that the woman might come to know her Messiah.

I grieve for her loss. I ache deep, deep in my heart for Stan and Carrie, who have lost their wife and mother. I will admit to feeling outrage and anger that a woman whose whole life was about serving God can be taken in such a way at the age of 54. Yet more powerfully, I rejoice in knowing that she has gone on to glory, and (as her husband has put it) that “Holly is feasting again, singing again, and dancing in the presence of angels. Holly is free of ALS. Hallelujah!”