Marsha Lynn Eldridge
After passing away from a stroke this past weekend, a family and community are remembering the amazing legacy of compassion that one Manitoban woman is leaving behind.
Marsha Eldridge suffered a massive stroke that had her airlifted from her community of Carman, Man. to Winnipeg hospital on Friday. After the doctors assessed her situation, they told her husband Ron that he wouldn't have long with her. They transferred Marsha back to Carman and a few short hours later she went to be with her Lord.
"She was an amazing woman," says Ron. "If it wasn't for her I don't even know where I'd be." Ron met Marsha when he was at one of his lowest points in life. "I was homeless when I met her. She's the one that got me cleaned up and off the streets." The two met in Winnipeg. "We would see each other every single day and then in 1996 I wound up marrying her. She was just my rock, the only one that actually cared about me at the time and she did not give up on me." Marsha was the General Manager of a drugstore back in the 90s and went out to care for people experiencing homelessness in her spare time.
Once Ron and Marsha were married, they joined together in reaching out to the vulnerable. "I wanted to do something with the homeless, so we started up our ministry working with the homeless, doing what we could to help the ones that were out there." The couple helped out the community wherever they lived, including Winnipeg, Portage la Prairie, and more recently Carman, Man. "She touched a lot of hearts and helped a lot of people. We would get hugs and 'thank yous', the homeless community just loved us. We were down there all the time giving them sandwiches, coffee, tea, clothing, we shared the Bible with them, we would pray with them."
Marsha Lived the Good News
"As a homeless person I had heard about God but I had never come to accept him," says Ron. "I heard so many different things about God. On one hand, I would have Christians saying 'You're homeless, you're worthless and good for nothing, you're going to hell.' On the other hand, I had Christians saying 'Jesus loves you. He doesn't care where you are or where you've been, He has a place for you in heaven.'"
This brought on mixed feelings for Ron so he ultimately was undecided about the Christian faith. That was until he met Marsha. "She was a very strong Anglican. She didn't care about my background. She just gave me all her love and support." Marsha's care came at a price. Initially, when she told her parents what she was up to, they were not too happy. They eventually warmed up to Ron as she stood by him through thick and thin.
A time of mourning and reflection to remember Marsha's life will take place on September 27. "For everybody that knew Marsha and the work she did with the homeless and the less fortunate in Winnipeg and surrounding area, if they would like to attend the funeral, it will be Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. at the Carman Pentecostal Church."