What impact does a life have, how does our presence effect others? What significance does my life, your life have?
These are important questions to ask at the end of a year, and as a new year begins. As 2015 came close to an end, Kelly’s grandmother Thresa Meyer happily passed into the presence of the Lord. As Kelly’s mom, Sandy Bowen, who was visiting us, was preaching in Gualache, Usulutan, Kelly received the call that her grandmother has passed away. This same date was the birthday of Kelly’s dad and Sandy’s husband, John Bowen, who had years ago succumbed to brain cancer.
Over a year ago our friends Ramfis and Ginger introduced us to a young lady, Estela who worked for them a few days a week and was needing extra work. She came to help out around the house and as Kelly began to home school, was very helpful and a joy to have around. Earlier last year she told us that she was pregnant and would really like to keep the work with us after the baby was born. We of course agreed…then a few months later she had another request. She wanted to know if she could name the baby after Kelly…again Kelly of course agreed.
Estela’s family is very poor, her father has severe arthritis and is older and unable to work. Her brother, who used to provide for the family, was shot in the arm last year by being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and has not recovered full use of his arm again, and her younger sister is still in school and tries to help out with odd jobs at times.
This Christmas season, Kelly was able to go with Estela to buy some basic things for her new life as a mom…and the other day the proud new mom brought her over and we were able to pray for little Kelly Josebeth.
Kelly’s grandmother LOVED children, baby sat them, taught them, poured into her grandkids and had a lasting impact. As she passed into the presence of the Lord, a new legacy was transferred through her granddaughter, as her Kelly, (who also LOVES children) made an impact on another young mother, and her new baby.
He (Jesus) said to them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children.” Mark 10:14
As I spent time with my boys, and several of the children as we visited churches throughout the Christmas and New Year season, I have been reminded how powerful our influence is. And, in looking at the heritage of Kelly’s grandmother, passed on through Kelly, it reminds me, not only how powerful our influence can be, but how long lasting it is.
Sometimes it is through the simplest of activities, living our lives with patience instead of frustration, giving with a pure heart, being content, noticing those who are watching, being visibly…and audibly grateful, that we are actually about the business of the Kingdom of God and our legacy is being passed on, without us even knowing it.
I am proud of my wife Kelly (whose name means brave) and the adventures, and struggles…unseen to most…that she has gone through to move to a new country and help her family to thrive. And now, with a new Kelly born (who will also need to be brave to face the challenges around her) this legacy continues on.