I know a widow woman who is eighty four (84) years old, and for forty (40) years she has faithfully fed the hungry, clothed those who had misfortunes, and gave housing to those who have no where to go. Every day, her home is open to alcoholics, prostitutes, drifters, and drug addicts. She will not take a vacation, or spend money on herself for fear someone else would need what little she has. Her home is now battered and abused because of her generosity, but she doesn't care because she lives for them not herself. Her life is one of total giving and she never thinks about her own needs.
Sometimes even the ones she helps steal and take advantage of her good nature. She will work the graveyard shift for five dollars per hour cleaning offices, painting apartments, cleaning Laundromat's and any other job no one else wants to do. And, at her age she suffers from joint pain, headaches, worry, and her heart is broken for those who have less. She will feed twenty (20) to sometimes sixty (60) people per day, every day, seven days a week. She gets no more than four (4) hours of sleep per day leaving twenty (20) hours to help others.
There is no public funding, no church help, and no donations for she has no 501- C3. She pays taxes on what she makes, and asks nothing in return.
If you ask her why she worships a God that allows, grief, pain, and suffering, in her life. She would reply with a big smile and say; "Because He is my beloved, He is my rose of Sharon, He is my Lilly of the valley, He is my bright and morning star. He is the fairest of ten thousands, and He is worth more to me then all the silver, gold or diamonds. His lips make this widow shout for joy, for I am love sick for my beloved."
The people of her town call her a saint. They have nicknamed her. "Mother Theresa of Belleville." All the officials know her name is honored. The mayor gave her the key to the city. Pastors and clergy praise her work. The police and hospital are daily asking her to come and pick up a drunk or a teenager who has a drug problem, and she always goes to the rescue. She is but one woman and besides God, has only one helper, her daughter Carol age sixty-four (64). Sister Camilla does more outreach then an entire church, but you will never see a pastor at her side, pitching in.
Her life was not always as glamorous as it has been the past forty- (40) years. Before, her husband (Harlan) was an alcoholic and would leave for weeks at a time. She had to raise two children on her own and work hard to pay the bills. One day an evangelist named Freddie Gage came to town and pierced the heart of her son. He got so excited about what God could do for his father, that he went to skid row and got his dad, brought him home, gave him a bath, and made him some coffee, then told him about Jesus. He stated that Jesus could help his dad stop drinking. The father believed his son, and from that day forward helped others who were tormented with the demon of alcohol. In 1961, Harlan and Camilla started a place called "Gods Corner," and after his death in 1986, she continued the work.
If you are ever in Belleville Illinois, stop by "Godís Corner." She would be honored to see you. Here name is:
500 South Church St.
Belleville, IL. 62221
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Amazing testimony. Such selfless love, an angel indeed! God Bless her. Please send her my love and God's blessing.
Wow! Reading this makes me realize that I'm not as "sold out" to God as I should be. It's very humbling. Thank you for shring this.
Sister Camilla is a real hero...thanks for sharing this wonderful story. - Jay Cookingham
Thanks David...Very touching article. I believe that is laying down your life for another. Oh that we as a church could all be doing this....
David, this is incredibly touching! A beautiful tribute to a beautiful Sister, thank you for it. What a legacy of love! Bob
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