Our Hospice Adventure – A Story of Love

By Brenda Jank

We are moving out of a 25-day crisis. There is a lull, but the horizon is hidden and unknown. It is a walk by faith, not by sight. Our oldest son, Joshua, has been in Hospice Care for 8 1/2 years. On 8 liters of oxygen on a “good” day, Josh has survived Covid, Covid Pneumonia, and a terrible drop in blood pressure and heart rate. 

There really are no words. The pain and suffering. The Glory Stories beyond belief, again and again. The kindness, compassion, and prayers of hundreds of people. The work of God. And it’s not just me. It’s not just Josh. It’s every person in our family. Our friends. Our community. It’s a collective story of love, life, and hope.

Someday there might be a book. If it was not for pen, paper, and the Word of God, I would not be here. God has inscribed love letter after love letter upon my heart. He is our courage and confidence. 

To prepare our hearts for February’s celebration of how LOVE can Make a Difference, can I share a peek into some of what drives Joshua’s passion? A sinner/saint through and through, this kid has a remarkably tender heart and his love does a world of good on a regular basis.

Josh has a steadfast desire that every child in this world experience deep, exuberant, and lasting love. Children who are wanted. Children who are not. Children who are vulnerable, neglected, and forgotten. This desire was most poignant, 10 days after Josh landed in Hospice Care in 2013. Moving out of unconsciousness back into the world of the living, Josh remembered a 12-year old boy named Jing in need of a family. 

“Mom and Dad, my bed will soon be empty. You can adopt him.” Josh was elated and adamant while I hid my tears of surprise, love, and admiration. (Read a little more here). 

Josh never had much of a bucket list, but finding a home for this 12-year old was one of the first things on his “Go Make a Difference” list. The last item on his list is to see our family book, God’s Gift of Family published in order to make a difference in the lives of children and teens.

Josh’s desire for God’s Gift of Family is 2-fold.  1) That the message blesses every person who reads it, no matter their age. “People need to know they are loved!” And, 2) that every penny from its sale (“And I hope there is a LOT, Mom!”) goes to help kids who are hurting, forgotten, and waiting.

Can you help spread the word? Can you give God’s Gift of Family as a gift? To a family who grew…or is growing through birth, adoption, guardianship, kinship, or fostering. Can you purchase it for families at women’s shelters? Or buy some for your church to celebrate God’s making of a family! (Some people have used it as a fundraiser to support post adoption services or overseas orphan care). To purchase, contact:

One of Josh’s favorite things to say is, “Together, we can make a difference!” 

Below are a few other special things, if you have a few minutes.

  • Enjoy a sneak peek at the message of God’s Gift of Family below
  • Visit Red Diamond Days’ website. There is an AMAZING 6-minute video of Josh on the front page and lots of great pictures and stories
  • Stay connected on Facebook
  • Consider “joining the Red Diamond Team.” On your own, or with family, friends, work, youth group, or church – make February a Red Diamond Day celebration of love, life, and hope. This page gives you information about buying Red Diamonds and how to print “Care Cards” that remind people … “It’s red because love makes a difference and it’s a diamond because God does amazing things under heat and pressure.”  
  • Through random and intentional “acts of kindness” – make a difference in the lives of others today!


“Monkeys and mountains, moonlight and me, God is the Maker of our family.
It’s all so amazing; we know it’s just right. God gave us each other to hug and hold tight.
We learn from each other, we learn everyday—how to live, how to love, how to work, rest, and pray.
We learn in a way that’s uniquely our own. We give it our best. We are never alone.
Today we are happy, but sometimes we’re sad, being together we’re bound to get mad.
Forgiving each other is part of God’s plan. God did it first so that we’d understand.
We are a blessing! God calls us by name. There’s nobody like us, no family the same.
We are a blessing, God made us just right. He brought us together, with joy and delight.” 

YES. He did – ! 
(Concordia Publishing house did a fabulous job and Penny Weber is an amazing illustrator!)



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