by Brittney Chan
“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might…”
One of my favorite classes in seminary was taught by Dr. Ryan Ralston during my senior year at Heritage Bible College. It was centered around the principles of spiritual leadership. That’s what ministry is, right? It is leading people to Jesus by the lives we live. Successful leadership happens when you can encourage people to move from where they are to where they should be in Christ. The course materials and Bro. Ryan’s lectures pointed us to Jesus’s preferred style of leading through relationships, compassion and acts of service.
If I have ever known the embodiment of those characteristics, it was Sis. LaDonna Kay Trawick.
As most of you know, she was recently diagnosed with COVID-19. Her respiratory issues progressed in ways that required ventilation and unfortunately for us, her body wasn’t able to handle the challenges of our current pandemic. She traded her earthly rags for heavenly riches on August 11, 2021. The void in the hearts of those she has left behind is real and widespread; because if you knew her, you knew a woman who led just like Jesus did.
If I remember correctly, I first met the Trawick family as they passed through South Carolina visiting various churches and raising funds for the mission work they’d begun on Roatán Island. It didn’t take long to fall in love with the whole family and their burdens for ministry. Over the years, our paths crossed on numerous occasions in the States and in Honduras. Bro. David and Sis. LaDonna’s vision for the people of that small Central American island was contagious, and it made you want to be a part of what God was doing through their willing and open hands.
I admire Sis. LaDonna’s life for multiple reasons. A short time of conversing with her would clearly reveal the order of her priorities. She was so ministry-minded that submerging herself and her family in a foreign culture didn’t intimidate her. She was content to build her life around God’s will for His people, even if that meant making sacrifices in her own life. She learned to trust that if He called, He would also provide. She loved you by building a relationship with you - no matter your skin color or socioeconomic status. Her home was open, as well as her heart. She made you feel important, as if you mattered, because she chose to see people through God’s eyes. She had hope for you beyond what you dared to hope for yourself - if you were the drunk on the corner or if you were a young Bible college kid trying to find your place in the world. Whatever her hand found to do, she did it with all of her might.
Sis. LaDonna, every testimony I’ve heard or read over the past week recognized the astounding legacy you’ve left behind everywhere you went. You gave us an example to model our lives after and showed us what it meant to be sold out to Jesus Christ.
But what are you doing today? Have you already taken your place beside the other missionary women who have changed the world for the cause of Christ? Like Elizabeth Elliot, Amy Carmichael, to name a few…? Tell Sis. Carol Martin I said, “Hello!” Give Sis. Dorthy Barnes a hug for me. And when you see Jesus - when you stand in His presence - will you march around the throne one time for me?
Ask Him to guide us. To comfort your family while they grieve your absence and adjust to what life is without you by their sides. To renew their visions for the work you helped start. To continue to lead people to Him by the witness of your life. To show His children what we can do to surrender more of ourselves to His will. To burden us financially to see your church built on Roatán Island. To strengthen our faith and carry on in the callings He has placed on our lives.
Until we meet again.