“Life is short and we never have enough time for the hearts of those who travel the way with us. O, be swift to love! Make haste to be kind.” Henri-Frédéric Amiel
Several days ago I attended a memorial service for Rebecca Koech’s father, Wilson Koech. Rebecca is a dear friend to many of us at The Mama Ada Foundation. Wilson passed away in Kenya, but Rebecca held a service for him at St. David’s Church in Minnetonka, Minnesota, where we met Mama Ada some years ago.
During this time of singing and prayers, there were also stories told about Wilson. Many in attendance had come to the United States after growing up near Wilson’s home in Kenya. It was remarkable to hear about his life and how he had come to be a successful and generous farmer, as well as a teacher.
One story happily recounted was how Wilson would offer people rides in his car. There are far fewer cars in Kenya than in the United States, so Wilson’s car was a more unusual possession there. One of the most powerful things for me in Wilson’s story was that he was making the decision to stop very fast – he would be driving down the road and quickly stop to extend his hand. He also stopped for riders until there was no more room in his car. And, he would stop for people whether he knew them or not…they could be his neighbors or they could be from far away.
This story has made me wonder.
How many times do you or I quickly reach out our hands?
Do we deliberately parcel out what we can give, taking our time to make a gift to someone? Or, do we give with joyful abandon, such as Wilson’s quick decision to give a ride?
While we might speedily give to someone we know – whose name we can recite and who is near to us - how often do we decide quickly to give to someone who we do not know?
And I most wonder - how often do we give until we have nothing left, or until we have “no more space in our car”?
We are running our Seeds of Hope Campaign right now – to provide essential seeds to farmers in Kenya so they can plant this season and have a fruitful harvest come fall. We are so thankful to those of you who acted like Wilson and already made a decision to stop and give the gift of seeds to a farmer by donating to the campaign.
If you’ve not done so, YOU can also make a quick decision to go to Seeds of Hope Campaign and make a gift to a farmer in Kenya - there's still time. And while we’re at it, let’s all say a quick thanks for Wilson and his big heart that gave without hesitation to those whose names he knew and those he did not know, until there were no seats left in his car.
Asante (thank you).- Julie Keller