Last week I met with a group of students from Loyola's medical school as they prepared for a service trip to Kenya. They are there now working in BulBul, an impoverished village just outside Nairobi. Few resources are available to BulBul's people, and the students are working to help get a borehole drilled to provide water to the community. Currently families must pay for all their water--sometimes contaminated--at a central source.
When I saw the students I loaded them with as many useful items as they could carry, including many pairs of shoes for children. These shoes--dozens and dozens--were given to me by Linda Girard, the woman pictured above. When she heard of the need in Africa, she drove around and scoured local thrift shops, bought children's shoes, washed and relaced them, and showed up on my doorstep with many boxes full, all lovingly prepared and ready to go. As I can, I get them to grateful recipients in Africa. Just after her wonderful labor of love, Linda Girard died in her sleep. I was stunned, and with all who knew her, mourn her loss. The children in Africa will never know their kind benefactor, but she is in their prayers. They know God understands Swahili...because she has been an answer to their prayers. May she rest in peace.