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  • Writer's pictureJim David

A Lasting Impact

Updated: Apr 3, 2022

I didn’t expect that just six weeks after I interviewed her, she’d be gone.

I was introduced to Glenda by friends at Vision Video and Redeem TV, where she used to work. They were aware of the documentary project I was working on and were quite familiar with Glenda’s battle with cancer and her journey.

When I connected with her, she was quiet and soft-spoken. As we talked, I was drawn to her heart. She was slightly apprehensive about the thought of being interviewed, but at the same time, she wanted to participate if I thought her story would benefit the film. I definitely thought it would.

In November of 2021, I traveled to Pennsylvania to film our first interviews for For A Purpose, including time with Glenda. As the day of our interview approached, she was feeling unwell. She wasn’t sure she’d be physically able to do it as her battle with cancer had recently intensified. In the end, however, she mustered enough strength, and, grateful for the help of others, she was able to complete the interview.

For all she had been through, she spoke of forgiveness and the change in her heart...

Glenda was mild-mannered, yet purposeful, in what she shared. As I often do in interviews, I asked her questions that explored her unique struggles and experience. It wasn’t long before it became clear to me that Glenda was singularly focused on making sure others knew of her faith and hope during the trials of her cancer.

For all she had been through, she spoke of forgiveness and the change in her heart she had experienced from her faith and trust in Christ. She credited the story of Jim Elliot as the primary tool God used for her to trust in Him. In like fashion, she wanted God to use her struggle as a beacon for someone else. Her heart was burdened for friends and family who didn’t share her deep faith and relationship with Christ and she hoped her participation in the film might be for their benefit.

Back at my studio, I went through the footage of my interview with Glenda, and was more and more drawn to some of the things she shared, like the clip above. One thing that people don’t realize about filmmaking is that every moment they experience as a viewer has dozens more behind it that never make it into the final film. And each minute of a story is revisited over and over again during editing. Glenda, like the others I had interviewed, made a lasting impression on my heart.

Then, on a Sunday morning, traveling to Illinois for Christmas with family, I heard the incredibly sad news that Glenda had passed away. I was stunned and caught off guard. Based on our conversations and the time we spent together doing the interview, I didn’t anticipate she would have been gone so soon. I have a heart of gratitude that I got to know Glenda. Grateful for her courage to be willing to share her own tough circumstances in the hope of blessing others. Blessed to be part of telling a portion of her story.

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