August 31, 2013

By Terri Williams

Relationships are built on the shared moments with others. My Aunt Edith left in 1946 to be a long term missionary in Kenya through the Society of Friends (Quaker). The original plan was that she would stay for five years and be the medical person for a remote Women’s clinic near Kaimosi, Kenya. She loved the people and the community so much that as her five years were nearing their end she requested to stay for another five years. And she continued this pattern until her retirement. Kaimosi, Kenya became her community and her family. For decades her mission and ministry of shared moments with the people of Kenya created her life. You could not separate her life from her work.  
    
The amazing thing is that I rarely had any interaction with my aunt. I may have met her only once when we managed to visit Oklahoma when she was back for a visit. Little did I know or realize that God’s plans would bring my Aunt Edith and me together through the network of Christian Faith. As my role as the Coordinator for the Festival of Sharing I have the blessing of partnering with lots of denominations across the state of Missouri.  I discovered a few years ago that one of the Representatives from the Presbyterian USA church from Kansas City had lived for two years with her husband and children as medical missionaries in this same area of Kenya and they knew my aunt. Now fast forward two weeks ago I receive a phone call from a pastor of a Bethesda Missionary Fellowship church and ministry in Kenya that had received help through the Festival of Sharing in 1992. The Festival of Sharing was able to help them purchase a truck to travel to the rural areas in Kenya; the same area  my aunt lived. This connection took more than 
50 years to come full circle. 
    
We never fully know the impact our actions have on another. And we all pray that our ‘good’ actions out number our ‘poor’ actions. As your congregation prepares kits and packs, raises funds for one of the international programs, or hunger needs for Missouri, remember that each of these items is continuing the circle of building the KINdom of God. It is a starting point, and the community that is being built through the Festival of Sharing continues to widen the circle of Grace.  Your gifts to the Missouri Hunger Fund, Rice and Bean Funds and Where Needed most help to stretch beyond our arm’s length into the arms of God’s grace. 
    
Help us meet the challenge by providing approximately 50 pounds of beans for just $29 or include 10 percent of your estimated material gifts and designated financial giving to Where Needed Most. Contact Festival@socket.net for more information.