Around 10:50 am Togo time on February 8, 2022, Arwen Mallay finished her battle with cancer and entered into the joy of her Lord.
As the daughter of missionaries, Arwen watched her dad, Seth, care for children at Hôpital Baptiste Biblique, in Togo. She watched her mom, Rebecca, serve faithfully on the field and become her primary caregiver as her illness progressed.
Today, the ABWE family joins in celebrating her life and testimony, and in praying for her family, friends, and church.
A little over a year after moving to Africa, Arwen was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma at age 10, and underwent a series of treatments. But even before facing a deadly diagnosis, she lived with courage and faith beyond her years.
Arwen loved Psalm 23. “It helps me remember that God is taking care of me. Even though I’m going through hard times like the valley of the shadow of death, God is leading me through it. He is with me always, even through hard times and scary things,” she wrote.
After her diagnosis, Arwen asked her family if they could return to Togo so that she could spend the rest of her life on the mission field with the people that her parents and siblings felt deeply called to serve.
Throughout this season, her parents continued to serve and disciple their daughter.
In a recent update on Arwen, Seth and Rebecca talked about their daughter’s faith and the importance of holding onto deep truths about eternity.
“The Lord saw fit to give us 4 more years with Arwen (after her diagnosis). The miracle of faith, the miracle of sanctification has been visible in Arwen’s life.”
Arwen clearly clung to those truths instilled by her parents, at one point writing,
“God will heal me either way. Either here, or in heaven, I will be healed.”
Ron and Ann Washer, who serve as the ABWE Executive Directors for Africa, have walked with the Mallay family during their service with the mission.
“Arwen has been a loving older sister to her five younger siblings—several of whom have only known her when she has been ill. Even in her sickness, she has been intentional about taking time to be a godly example to them, showing by her desire to return to Togo with her family, that Jesus has first place in her life,” Ron says.
“Rebecca and Seth have traveled a road that no parent wants to travel. Their steadfast faith in the Lord has been unswerving…I cannot tell you how much I admire them. They’ve given Arwen to the Lord, even while their hearts are broken. They are an example to us all,” Ann adds.
Today, we rejoice that Arwen is fully healed with her savior, while we mourn with those on earth who will deeply miss her contagious smile and deep love for others.