Living Life to its Fullest

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Mary Bailey became a Christ follower at an early age and was baptized as an adult while working at a camp. She is actively engaged in the church life of Trinity Church. Mary and Rod have served as Koinonia Bible Study leaders, played in the church orchestra and for special worship services and FiftyPlus events. She finds joy in sewing with Helping Hands, has volunteered for our church sponsored outreach program to under served children, and has volunteered to go with our Trinity mission team to Germany 2016 and 2015 to work with The Greater European Mission (GEM) families. Mary says her confidence and zest for living comes from totally trusting God to provide through grief and losses, medical diagnosis, trauma and treatment for her self and family members.

For thirty-eight years, Mary was an elementary teacher at Dunlap School where statistics showed the proficiency level in English was 28% and 23% in Math. The need was so great she volunteered her time before or after school mentoring her children using Rosetta Stone in English and other computer literacy programs. She was keenly aware that some families in transition were very needy and lived either in motels or small trailers behind someone’s house. Fortunately, the school provided free breakfast and lunch for children from low social-economic backgrounds under the Government Act, Title One. The food received in school was often the only food these children would have all day!

Uniquely Mary involved their Koinonia group to provide mittens for cold little hands during the winter or to stock granola bars in the nurse’s office. That way, children who came late and missed the school breakfast would get something to eat and it gave the nurse opportunity to quickly assess the child’s well being. She taught her children the value of planting vegetable gardens, and taught them respect for people. Prayer was ever upon Mary’s lips for these children.

Mary looked upon retirement with great anticipation. However the shocking results from a routine mammogram check that resulted with a cancer diagnosis stunned her beyond words. She felt numb inside. Yet God encouraged her through her Bible reading, the prayers of many and music. She endured numerous tests, MRI’s, and biopsies that were followed with five different major surgeries within a matter of just a few months. Mary says, “I give thanks to God for His strength and healing through a great medical team, and for others who have helped me with this challenge and on going journey of what I call, “Cancer land”.

Since leaving public school service. Mary uses her years of educational skills in the Adult Literacy Program through the Redlands Smiley Library serving adult learners along with six other literacy volunteers for one-and-half hours each week.

Challenge for Mary is the spice of life. She has taken up new fun learning such as the ukulele, Hawaiian dance, and is taking Italian and German classes, but she also enjoys assisting retirees who desire to play violin. Her involvement in community life gives her multiple opportunities to share her faith in Christ.

Mary firmly believes God calls us to live courageously and serve joyfully. Her faith in Jesus has been her rock and salvation through the storms.

Her life verse is Romans 12:12
Rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer.

By June Hedlund

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One Response to “Living Life to its Fullest”

  1. Barbara Winkler says:

    Thanks for sharing a bit about Mary’s life. I really enjoy human interest stories that focus on how God has used a person and built character through the storms of life. Thanks again for writing, June!