NMC Blog

A Prayer of Lament

Intro Mosaic Conf Lament

One of my assignments was to research one of the Great Cloud of Witnesses within Mennonite History. We were to present this person not by reading about them but by impersonating them. I chose Annie C. Funk, and I wrote a prayer of lament from her perspective about what I imagine her last conversation with God might have been like based on what I learned about her life. Find that below. (There are various clues about her life and how she died within the prayer. Let me know if you figure it out!)

Annie C. Funk (1874-1912)

A Prayer of Lament in the last moments


Oh Lord, where are you?

I am frightened.

In the middle of a deep slumber

Lulled to sleep by the rocking of the boat

I was awakened.

They say the ship is sinking.


Are you still with me, Father? 

It feels like you’re gone.

I am dressed now,

Surrounded by frightened people

The icy water creeps up towards my ankles.

All around me are shouts of fear, of pain.

Lord, why am I here?


Your call has always been clear

When I left my home in Bally, Pennsylvania 

To minister with the African American Methodist Community in Tennessee


When you brought me to Patterson, New Jersey

To work with women and immigrants at the YWCA


When in November of 1906, just six and a half years ago,

The Mennonite Mission Board called me 

to Janjgin, India


So clear was your call that even 

When my companion could not join me

I set off on my long voyage across the sea

With only you by my side.


I was the first Mennonite woman to be sent overseas for mission work

Yet I was not afraid

You protected me on that ship

So why not this one?


I know I heard you right

I served you with my whole self

I learned Hindi

I spread the gospel

I built schools for young Indian girls


By the time the letter from home arrived

In April of 1912

That mother is gravely ill

The mission you sent me on was thriving


So I thought it would be okay for me to go home

To say goodbye to my mother


Are you punishing me for leaving

After everything I’ve done for you?


Did I miss a sign?

When my ticket on the Haverford 

Was canceled after the coal miners' strike

Was that my sign to turn around?

In my hurry and my grief

Was I ignoring you?


A ticket on a different



Ship was offered so quickly

I didn’t think to ask you about it

Were you trying to protect me?
Do you still love me?


I’m on the deck now 

Someone shouts at me to get in line 

For the lifeboats

I hear someone else doing the math:

there aren't enough for everyone on board

Do I deserve to get one? 


Lord, how could you allow this?

Is it because they called it unsinkable?

That not even you could sink it? 

Are you really so vengeful? 


A woman behind me is screaming 

for her children

Two are on a lifeboat already

The baby is in her arms

There is one spot left 

I am next in line


I suddenly remember

The sacrifice you made 

Your life

For mine


I remember the words I spoke

Right before my 

Voyage to India

“Our heavenly Father is as near to us on sea as on land. My trust is in Him. I have no fear.”


Father, forgive my unbelief!

You are here

You are good


As you have always been


I feel your love warm

My cold body

Your call stirs my heart

Once again


I step aside

The mother is reunited with her children

The last lifeboat is full

I am not afraid.


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