By Judy Moyer

trib·ute: something that you say, give, or do to show respect or affection for someone

You know how some organizations’ inspiration seems to be fueled by certain people with so much enthusiasm for the cause?

The Community Bible Study (CBS) group experienced Judy Braun’s zest way before the Prayer Shawl Ministry was even a thought. Judy crocheted each and every leader a beautiful book bag.

Have you ever seen a “Judy bag”? That’s our affectionate term for a bag crocheted by Judy. They are beautiful works of art because of the colors of yarn she chooses. As Judy and the team crochet a blanket, shawl, or bag they pray for the recipient, that the item will bring comfort, joy, and a little bit of peace to the person.

Judy always brought smiles and laughter to the group as they worked on the projects. One of her favorite things about the ministry and group was having time to sit and talk and get to know some of the other ladies of faith in the congregation. Judy enjoyed simply being able to bless those needing a lift, through her crocheting.

Since the inception of the Prayer Shawl Ministry in February 2012, Judy has made approximately 48 bags. And that’s not counting other bags she has made along the way, apart from this ministry. She has also made several shawls, throws, and hats, but her joy is definitely making the bags. Needless to say she is our “bag lady”!

The Lord has given Judy, a cancer survivor, the strength to be involved in all of the ministry’s projects. She has been instrumental in coming up with many of the projects we have undertaken. Judy has a positive attitude and tries to keep her focus on her Lord and Savior, Jesus, knowing that, in faith, He will take care of her.

Judy has blessed many with crocheted hats including those at the Ann Arbor Cancer Center, where she spent many hours in chemotherapy years ago. She has made baby items for Family Life Services and several small bags for Mott’s Children Hospital, and, of course, the many bags and items for the people in our own St.Luke family.

As Judy shared her joy for crocheting she also shared her joy for the Lord. With loving hands she worked to bless a person who was struggling or recovering from an illness, and she and her sisters in Christ prayed for the healing process, for the Lord’s peace and comfort to touch the receiver. In this simple way Judy and the other team members were sharing Christ with those around them.

Judy and her husband will be moving to their hometown of Traverse City, to live closer to their daughters, in case any medical emergencies should arise. She will be sorely missed for her zest and enthusiasm for life, for the Lord, for serving Him, and for her childhood stories.

The Lord go with you, Judy Braun. We look forward to hearing how you continue to be a blessing to those around you with your crocheting.