Monday, February 10, 2014

Celebrating an amazing life.......

Today I heard (via Facebook) that an amazing women had gone to be with Jesus.  Her name was Florence and I met her in 2005.  This picture is my dear Kenyan friend Lucy and her sister-in-law Florence and me. (Not a great picture, but so special to me) When Lucy came to the United States to give birth to her special daughter Hope-Lyn, she stayed with her brother John, his wife Florence and their family.  After Hope-Lyn was born, Lucy invited me to visit her in Atlanta, Georgia for Hope's dedication.  Florence and John welcomed me into their home and blessed me greatly.  If you remember from previous posts, Lucy and I had just met in 2004.  So to be welcomed and loved and blessed by her family, was so special.  That trip to Atlanta was quite a big deal for me.  I traveled by myself, into the unknown.  I had never been to Atlanta, didn't really know much about these people, but trusted the Lord.  One of the first lessons I learned about Kenyan culture is that Florence was introduced to me as "Mama Nelly".  This custom recognizes a woman's status as a mother of her first child. Florence and John have three children - Nellie, Maurice, and Daniel.  And she was always called "Mama Nelly"!  (I would be called "Mama Gwen") The entire weekend was just incredible.  In many ways, I felt like I was stepping back into Kenya.  I discovered that there is a large Kenyan community in Atlanta and they are very close.  Florence and John welcomed a HUGE group of people into their home to celebrate the great gift of Hope-Lyn.  There were multiple pastors and many, many prayers.  And the singing was just amazing.  Unless you have experienced being in a group of people who are singing in a language that you don't know, you won't understand.  For me, it was one of the best worship experiences I have ever had.    The presence of the Lord was so heavy in that home you just had to worship.  I didn't speak their language, I didn't know them, I was a white face in a sea of black people, yet I was at home and I belonged. What a blessing it was to have these people pray for me! 

And then there was the food.  Like most church events, everyone had brought food and Florence and John had provided a feast.  Let me tell you that I think I ate more Kenyan food in Atlanta than I did in Kenya!  Florence was quite happy to serve me my first ever goat!  And I learned a great deal about how the women in Kenya take care of each other after they have given birth.  Yes, it was a weekend that I will never forget.

When I think of Florence I feel the love of Jesus in a very real way.  She talked about the school that she and John had started in Kenya.  With tears in her eyes she explained about the great need of these little ones.  You could feel the love and care in her every word.  I remember the warmth and joy that filled that home. That visit changed me.  I realized that Jesus can bring people together for His purposes - even around the world.  I understood in a much clearer way, that the world was here in the United States.  And I was reminded that I left a piece of my heart in Kenya. 

It is a terrible loss for their entire family.  I will see Florence again, one day.  She is celebrating now at that great banqueting table in heaven with Jesus.  And there is most likely goat on the menu! 

Jesus, be with John and the entire family during this difficult time.  Thank you for the assurance that Florence is with you.  Holy Spirit, comfort all who mourn the loss of this special woman.  Thank you Jesus for the opportunity to know Florence.  Jesus bless Lucy and give her your peace in this difficult time.  Amen


  1. Thank u Lynn for posting this one. I really love it. Yes. We had a wonderful time together and look forward to meeting Florence one of these mornings where we will Worship the Lord together.

  2. What a tribute and a way to celebrate an amazing WOG who lived amongst us .. It's not goodbye Mama Nelly, it's c u later... R.I.P servant of God.. You fought a good fight n u finished the race.

  3. Thankyou so much Lynn for this. For sure we will never forget our lovely sis in love Florence Wachori. May your soul rest in eternal peace. See you later. ♡♡♡