Standing on Holy Ground — and Some Not So Holy By Barbara Keener Reed
Only a female, only a farmer’s daughter, only a Mennonite — this mental script characterized Barbara Reed for many years. Later, only a missionary amplified her personal insecurities. But defining moments throughout a life well lived, learning to trust and rely on a deep faith in a personal Savior, molded her into a confident, resourceful, and successful woman who learned she had so much to offer others.
From humble beginnings, the youngest of 10 children raised on a Pennsylvania potato farm, to the mission field of Somalia; from the beginnings of a nursing career to serving in a mental health hospital; from raising four children in a foreign country to holding the hand of her beloved husband through a long and devastating battle with Alzheimer’s, Standing on Holy Ground — and Some Not so Holy gives testimony to God’s abundant grace, even through a near-death experience and a distressing emotional crisis.
Biography from the book:
Barbara Keener Reed is a graduate of the Lancaster General Hospital School of Nursing, now Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences. Appointed by Eastern Mennonite Missions, she served for 14 years in Somalia, Eastern Africa, with her husband, Harold E. Reed and family, and an additional year in Kenya. Besides lending strong support to Harold, she also taught first aid, typing, English language and provided hospitality for many guests, both colleagues and Somalis. In retrospect, she believes God led her to Somalia not, first and foremost, to benefit Somalis but to change and grow her!
Missing Somalia and cross-cultural interactions on return to Pennsylvania in 1975, she asked God to give her “a ministry on the cutting edge.” God answered by sending one very distraught woman whom she mentored, as well as others in emotional and/or spiritual distress. After studying marriage and family systems at a local seminary, she also counseled couples, many in preparation for marriage.
Before retirement, she was employed in psychiatric and mental health nursing at Philhaven Hospital, now Wellspan Philhaven, in Mt. Gretna, Pennsylvania.
Standing on Holy Ground — and Some Not So Holy: A Memoir is her first book. Beyond early life, conversion to Jesus Christ and call to overseas mission, many formative experiences in Somalia are contained herein, including a particularly distressing time, emotionally, and the confession which brought her through to freedom, a new understanding of the Holy Spirit and greater obedience to God. This account gives testimony to the Lord’s amazing grace; it is one example of God tailoring interventions — alike in principle for all, yet specific to the individual believer even through the severest test of all, her husband’s devastating illness and eventual death.
She is loved by four children, a son-in-law, a granddaughter’s family — including two great granddaughters — and lives among many friends at Landis Homes, a retirement community in the beautiful countryside near Lititz, Pennsylvania.
Books are available for purchase in the Mennonite Heritage Center Gift Shop