The Miracle of Prayer

Patricia Rain
Posted February 22, 2011 from United States

In 2001 I created The Vanilla.COMpany, a web-based, socially- conscious business located at www.vanilla.com, My dream was to make a difference for tropical farmers – the majority of whom are women – to create better conditions and opportunities for them and their families. Two years later I was diagnosed with end-stage breast cancer in my liver and told to put my affairs in order. I had no idea at that moment that farmers, their families and their communities would permanently change – perhaps even save – my life.

At the time, I was assisting vanilla farmers however I could, to negotiate an international crisis. Most of the growers were in remote regions in Africa, Asia, Papua New Guinea and Central America, often traveling hours to Internet cafes in search of assistance.

The vanilla industry is small and opaque; until I launched my site, there was nowhere for farmers to turn for information or help. As there was a severe shortage of vanilla and prices were sky-high, I could not afford to buy their vanilla. Instead, I helped them sell their vanilla to big traders, and advised young growers on how to help their communities. Frequently all I could provide was hope.

Now I was suddenly fighting for my life, possibly to die within a year. I was in shock, but somewhere deep inside I felt that I didn't have time for cancer; there was too much to do for tropical farmers also desperate to survive. Via e-mail I contacted the farmers, telling them of my diagnosis and assuring them I would continue to help as long as I could.

Immediately e-mail poured in from around the world, notes and letters filled with love, concern and prayer. In churches, mosques and Hindu temples, entire communities prayed for my life. I was stunned by the overwhelming outpouring of care from people who had never met me, men and women old and young whose lives were marginal at best, selflessly praying for my life.

The love and prayer I received from around the world was – and continues to be – a miracle. Three years ago I qualified for liver resection surgery, rarely possible with breast cancer. I am currently in remission. It has been seven years since my diagnosis, yet farmers continue to pray for me!

This year I will launch a non-profit and foundation for vanilla farmers, providing them with a voice and opportunity. They are my miracle.

My Story: Miracles

Comments 12

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duth.kimsru
Feb 22, 2011
Feb 22, 2011

Dear Patricia,

It is not only Vanilla farmers are your miracle, but your kindness and inside strength are also your miracle. When I read "The Miracle of Prayer," I feel that I am one of the luckiest people who get to read this wonderful inspiration.

Even though your connection within people around the world seem invisible, but god (in whatever religion) knows and moves by your action.

I am proud of you.

Love, care and warm to my dear Patricia,

Patricia Rain
Feb 23, 2011
Feb 23, 2011

Your comments are so kind. Thank you. We women are amazing, aren't we?

Olutosin
Feb 24, 2011
Feb 24, 2011

The vanilla work is the work in God's vineyard! Therefore, you will nt die, you will fulfill your mission on Earth! Ah May God continually strengthen You. I just fall in love with your Miracle.

LauraB
Feb 25, 2011
Feb 25, 2011

Patricia,

Your work here is not done; the vanilla farmers need you.

I think the living world has claimed you; as you said you didn't have time for cancer. I love that- you didn't have time for cancer! That is really quite a wonderful statement.

I really loved reading your story. Thank you and I am so very happy that you are alive doing the important work that you do.

Love,

Laura

Patricia Rain
May 11, 2011
May 11, 2011

Ever since you wrote I've wanted to write back to you. I actually posted information about PulseWire in yesterday's blog. I'm having difficulty keeping up as I'm working seven days a week -- clearing out e-mail as I'm flying to Italy tomorrow for a three week holiday with friends. The first holiday in a very long time. When I return I would like to write something for Pulsewire.

Patricia

LauraB
Feb 25, 2011
Feb 25, 2011

Hi Patricia,

I hope that you will share links with PW about what is happening for vanilla farmers. PW could act as an important platform for you.

I hope you will write a blog post here on PW about your work and provide us with links.

Thanks

Laura

Philo Ikonya
Feb 26, 2011
Feb 26, 2011

Hei Patricia!

This is great! Since I met you, I always wondered how you were getting on... more prayers.. more miracles to you!

Santa Clara University Summer- 2006

Patricia Rain
Feb 26, 2011
Feb 26, 2011

I have thought a lot about you as well. I was sad but relieved that you decided to move to Sweden. Sad because no one should have to leave one's country for personal safety reasons. But you are an amazing woman and I know that you will continue to make a major difference in the world.

I'm currently fundraising to get a Kenyan woman to Oxford. She's been accepted but couldn't get a scholarship. She has done so much to help Kenyan women including raising two girls whose parents couldn't afford them. If you can think of any connections that I should follow to help her, please let me know. If you go to my blog at www.vanilla.com (you'll see it in the lefthand corner), you'll see her story.

Big hugs to you! Patricia

Philo Ikonya
Feb 27, 2011
Feb 27, 2011

Hi Patricia!

You not only remember me but carry my country in your breast. They say to educate one woman is to educate a nation. I say to help one woman is to cure the world.I have posted it on fb and I will be sending the information around. I am pleased you are helping Theresia. Not so long ago someone was asking on faceboo which area they could support and though it was not scholarships I quickly said agriculture.. . many women are in this. I will see who else I can link up.

Patricia, I woke up with a poem that is still rumbling in me as I try to read, reply mail, blog, sweep and cook! I will do my first draft for you. Unfortunately it is one of those that insists on a certain pattern and it is not yet fully there.. . but for you...

For Patricia Rain

Where women gather

(c) Philo Ikonya

I will be where women gather It is not that I do not love other gender But I will be where women gather I just know that together we share a history no one can sever. and in their hands stones turn tender, race and class sometimes a river.

I will be where women gather and beside any woman left alone I know it does not flatter sometimes where women gather in name But where did diversity never tether?

I will be where women gather for eventually they fly And when I feel the pain I would rather Watch the V formation of birds and firefly then I know that the clouds gather and Rain comes too for our daughter

I said I will be where women gather I like it when they ulalate in Cairo singing a song out of hearts, sister I like it when together they set out to clear boundaries yonder. So, just look and see I will be there I will be where women gather

Patricia Rain
Feb 27, 2011
Feb 27, 2011

My poems come like yours -- when we do physical work that frees our minds to be creative.

Thank you for helping me get the word out for Theresia. The more eyes, the greater our chances.

What is your e-mail address? Then we can keep in touch directly.

Love to you, rain

curvesalish2
Feb 28, 2011
Feb 28, 2011

How wonderful it is to see selflessness such as this? Both on your part and theirs. Thanks to shining light on an issue I wasn't aware existed. Warm wishes, Caitlin

Aarti
Mar 02, 2011
Mar 02, 2011

Amazing story. May you live another 100 years continuing the work you do.

Aarti