Thursday, August 6, 2015

An Angel of Love and Light

Losing someone you love is always painful, but there is a different kind of ache in my heart that happens when a loved one dies unexpectedly and you know that you will never again hear their voice or feel their hug or share life’s joys and sorrows with them.  When I woke up this morning, I learned that Esther Garvi, a young woman who was like a daughter to me, died last night in a car accident in Niger, Africa.

Esther was one of the most compassionate, courageous, generous people that I’ve ever known.  She grew up in the town of Zinder, one of the poorest places on earth and she provided thousands of Africans with food, livelihood, and hope. She ran the Eden Foundation, a non-profit founded by her parents that gives seeds and teaches families how to grow trees and plants that nourish and support them in the Sahel desert.  Almost 10,000 families benefit from the seeds and the knowledge that Eden provides each growing season. The young girls and women have been encouraged by Esther to sell the fruit they produce at market and have found a respect and importance in their families and their villages that is critical for their survival.

She created a foundation in her mother’s memory that supports a blossoming group of girls and boys, many of them orphans, who are going to school and love learning and spending time with Esther and her menagerie of dogs, horses, goats and other animals.  She was never held back by lack of financial resources or the complicated African political climate or fear of terrorism.  She moved forward with each new project in a blaze of love and a belief that God and good people would help her make it happen. And it always did, beyond everyone’s expectations.

This is the second time in recent months that I have experienced the sudden loss of someone close to me that I admired and loved.  My wise friend, Grandmother Nancy, tells me that the Creator is calling back some of his best warriors right now to shine the light and help all of us from the other side.  I will hold that thought tightly today, sending love and whatever else I can give to help Esther’s sister, Miriam, and her family, the children and the animals that also loved this brave, beautiful woman so much.

If you want to learn more and contribute to Esther’s efforts, please go to the Bettan Garvi School Initiative  and the Eden Foundation


Annette Mickelson said...

OMG -- I've got tears and goosebump prickles on my skin. I also follow Esther and consider her a friend. This is so sad and such a loss to her beloved Niger.

Victoria Cummings said...

We were so lucky to have known her, Annette. Everyone whose life she touched was moved by her strength and her goodness.

Anonymous said...

Omg. I used to read her blog, and I've been so concerned about her lately.

Lori Skoog said...

A very beautiful tribute to Esther. I am so glad I was able to get to know her and am positively devastated. I will refer people to this says it all. Thank you.

Khyra And Sometimes Her Mom said...

I found your post as I was searching for material for our post in honor of Esther -

I too was stunned Thursday morning when I caught up with what had happened via my Facebook feed -

She gave SO much - sadly, too few know of her great works -

Her smile will always stick with me - along with her love for Sheba - and all the others in her life -

I've included a link to this post on our Sunday -

Thanks so much for sharing!

As we say,

Khyra and Her Mom Phyll

Baby Rocket Dog and Hootie said...

So very sorry for the loss of a beautiful human being. RIP Esther.