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A Heartfelt Tribute to Nancy Hoke

Recently, when Nancy went into surgery to have her heart mended, none of us thought we’d be experiencing the heartbreak of her untimely passing. As our hearts ache, we reflect on the incredible ways in which she enriched our lives.

Nancy's world revolved around her passion for Dave, their children, Brian & Stacy, and grandchildren, Ian, Evan & Ashton (Hoke) and Grace, Grant & Mason (Kindell), extended family and dear friends (too many to mention). Through her firm, but compassionate guidance, strong values were instilled, goals were established & reached, and truly lovely branches of her family tree have blossomed.

Nancy leaves many legacies, one of which was the impact of her innate skill, which she used to shape the hearts & minds of young children. She worked tirelessly both professionally & through volunteer-work:

  • locally, through her roles with preschoolers, and
  • globally, through her never-ending support of students in need overseas

In addition to the donations that she & Dave made to MTRF, Nancy continually helped spread the word about our programs in Cambodia, often being the first to like/love/share our Facebook posts. She worked closely with Lisa Ross to pave the way for her “Class Reunion Challenge” story to be shared in Guideposts, an internationally renowned publication which “opened our doors” even further! Thanks to the Hoke Family, several water wells, mosquito nets and school uniforms were donated, as a result of Nancy’s on-going efforts. (Click HERE to read more about Nancy’s Guidepost article).

It is only fitting that Nancy’s memory is honored through our dedication of the Teacher’s Housing Facility that was built in conjunction with MTRF's first Cambodian-based school. Its remote location makes it quite difficult for teachers to consistently reach via scooter during the rainy season. This unique approach of providing teacher housing, enables these students to receive the same level of dedication that Nancy provided to the children with whom she worked. Nancy understood the value of consistent re-enforcement & leading by example - those she loved & cared for never doubted for an instant that she would do whatever it took to ensure their well-being.

This dedication image will be framed & displayed at the entrance of the newly constructed Teacher Housing Facility located on the premises of MTRF's first Cambodian school.

Through divine timing, the construction of this building was completed just last week. Our hearts are warmed, knowing that these Cambodian teachers will embody Nancy’s caring spirit as they shape the minds of future generations. Through this, and in a myriad of other ways, Nancy lives on through the hearts of many.

Recently constructed Multi-room Teacher Housing Facility for MTRF's new school for children in need in remote Cambodia

Each one of us takes our own unique journey through the grieving process. Over the years, I often turn to prose in various forms. In this case, lyrics for a song (into which the names of Stacy’s children are interwoven) made their way to me. Although, while still in grief, my heart has no melody yet to sing, I’ll share my heartfelt words below. I pray there will come a time, while reflecting upon memories shared with our dear Nancy, that music will once again enter my heart. It is my hope that these lyrics will bring comfort to all of us, as we struggle to mend our heartaches.

Grace-Full Heart (Nancy’s Song)

Pulses flowing through our veins, uniquely ours, shall vary

Blessings often intertwine with crosses that we carry

Sacrifices must be made, ones we don’t understand

While passing through life’s hourglass are tiny grains of sand

Oh, how I wish I knew…She would be taken from us…HEARTACHE

When will this pain subside…Tears vanish from our eyes…HEARTBREAK

As sacred loans are GRANTed, a MASON’s work begins

A temple is constructed, through journeys deep within

Forked roads force choice upon us, to travel paths unknown

A leap of faith is taken, to outcomes, ours alone

Oh, how I wish I knew…She would be taken from us…HEARTACHE

When will this pain subside…Tears vanish from our eyes…HEARTBREAK

In times of greatest anguish, when facing gravest fears

An inner light brings clarity, we see, despite the tears

With hindsight’s flawless vision, we’re shown the gift of GRACE

She’s walked her perfect journey to reach her resting place

Life, with its twists & turns, GRANTs us wise lessons learned – INSIGHTS

Now, as her new heart sings, reaching with Angel’s wings - NEW HEIGHTS

The extended Hoke family (missing Stephanie Hoke, the photographer)
Banner on a Cambodian water well that was donated by Dave & Nancy Hoke in celebration of their Grandchildren
Trina, Nancy, Dave & Lee enjoying a "family" reunion in Waco, Texas a few years ago