As you gather with friends and family, I encourage you to take a few minutes to think about generations.
Mary’s prayer, known as the Magnificat, frames the birth of Jesus as God’s fulfillment of an ancient promise to bless all generations. To this day we marvel at Mary’s faith and we too participate in the beautiful story of hope we now call Christmas, a story for all people of all generations.
Who, in the generations before you, shaped your life?
What do you hope will guide the generations who come after you?
I want to share three multigenerational stories from Kijabe. I hope they can serve as inspiration for you this Christmas.
I am fascinated by this Kijabe picture from the early 1900’s, with a caption that reads, “Christmas Callers.” The smallest child then would be the great-grandparents of our Kijabe community today.
Challenges for these women and children have not changed. Care in high-risk pregnancy, setting of broken bones, surgery for treatable conditions, compassionate presence at end of life are needs Kijabe Hospital provided them and today.
In fact, it was these compassionate acts of healing in the time of this picture that led to the adoption of Christian faith in the communities around Kijabe. Hope in healing led to hope in spirit.
I recently had a great chat with Al Puckett, Friends of Kijabe board member, about how he became interested in giving. Al says it was a family affair. His great grandfather started the multigenerational family-owned Columbus Brick company, and left the following wise words in his will about the three best uses of money:
1. Work hard to make a dollar.
2. Save it
3. Give it to the needy.
Al and Anna have seen the principles of hard work, stewardship and generosity bless all the generations of their family and countless lives around the world, from China to Kenya.
“We saw that you’re not going to outgive God,” Al explains, meaning that the more the family and business gave, the more they received and were able to give in return.
“There is so much good going on. Wherever you see God at work, get in there!” Al encourages.
Nettie Sinclair, beloved Kijabe nurse and founder of Kijabe College of Health Sciences, was called home to heaven this week.
After years of dreams, plans and struggles, the school launched in 1981 and has since trained more than 3000 nursing, clinical officer, Kenya registered nurse anesthesia, and advanced degree nursing students.
The nursing school administration shared the following beautiful note:
“You were a believer, an exemplary missionary, trained nurse, dear sister, mentor and friend having held Africa & the Hospital close in your many years of service. You lit many nursing candles that continue shinning on many miles away.”