In early 2020, service providers to Low German communities started telling Irene Marsch that her next book needed to be about domestic violence. Irene was hesitant to write about such a difficult topic. Where would she start? What could she say? Then one woman gave Irene her hand-written personal experience of being abused. Irene received this woman’s story as a precious gift, and as a confirmation of God’s leading.
Vebroaken un Vestoaken (Broken and Unnoticed) was released in October of this year, Irene’s 5th book produced with Square One World Media. It includes 12 original acrylic paintings by the author.
“There were times when the topic itself weighed me down and I needed to take a break," explains Irene. "That’s when I chose to paint – the creative act eased the burden for me. I hope the paintings also make it easier for readers to keep turning the pages and to keep facing a difficult reality that’s not usually talked about.”
Scroll through the gallery below to view the paintings (click to enlarge). For more details on the paintings, and to learn how to bid on them, click here to view a pdf of the auction brochure. Auction closes November 30, 2021. All proceeds from the Silent Bid Auction will go to cover the cost of producing Irene’s books, as well as to support other Low German media projects.
Titles of the paintings in the slideshow: 1. Broken and Unnoticed; 2. Home is Where the Heart Is; 3. Tethered; 4. The Calm Before the Storm; 5. Bending in the Wind; 6. Stuck Down but not Destroyed; 7. Grace; 8. He Will not Forsake Me; 9. His Eye is on the Sparrow; 10. The Good Shepherd; 11. Letting Go; 12. He Restores My Soul. Click here to view the PDF of the Silent Auction Brochure and to read the bidding instructions.
Blessings to Irene Marsch as a New Chapter Begins
Irene Marsch is a retired Canadian nurse who grew up in Paraguay. She volunteered at a medical clinic in Santa Cruz, Bolvia in 2012 and discovered how few Low German-speaking women had access to medical knowledge in their own language.
In Winnipeg in 2013, she began producing De Schwesta Stund met Irene (Health Talks with Nurse Irene) at Square One. Her new radio program combined medical information with biblical teaching. “That’s what Jesus did,” she says. “He healed the sick and preached the Gospel!”
Irene produced 267 episodes of Health Talks from 2013 to 2019. “I tried not to plan my topics too far ahead. Instead, I listened to the women and responded to their needs,” she explains. “When you speak to what hurts, people listen.”
Because of the radio program’s acceptance, Irene was invited to speak and teach throughout the Americas. Women, service providers, and community leaders kept telling her about the need for published resources about health, wellness, and the love of God for each person.
From 2016 to 2021, Irene wrote and illustrated 5 books on topics like sexuality, self-esteem, and grief. Irene often felt the heaviness in writing, especially her final book about domestic violence. “But,” she says, “you’re writing to help others, not yourself!” We are so thankful for Irene’s generous heart to care for others.
Irene is retiring from formal production work at Square One, but will continue speaking and promoting her books. Only God knows what opportunities will pique her interest in the future.