Mchana njema familia yetu.

Tuko hapa leo kwasibabu Mungu wetu amemuwita mama/dada/Rafiki yetu, Eliakira.

Kwa baraka zenu, nitaendelea kwa kingereza.

Today is a sad day for all of us, but I would like to ask everyone here, to pause for a moment and think about the reason we have been brought together.

I can tell all of you that I know she is a kind woman, a good woman and I have never met her face to face, so how do I know?

I know Eliakira is a good woman because we share a mutual brother for whom I have so much respect.  We at Tumaini call him Baba Maziwa and he is your Mwenyakiti.  He began by bringing our children milk, but he has become so much more to us.  He has become my friend, my brother and he has done many good things to help me, to help us at Tumaini, to help our children and he is mama’s brother.

I know Eliakira is a good woman because I know Ma Ayo, my dada, my friend and she too is a very special person.

I know Eliakira is a good woman because I know her sister, Mama Baraka.  She works with us at Tumaini.   She is a strong, kind, gentle woman who brings love and compassion to our children.

I know Eliakira is a good woman because she welcomed us, ALL of us, into her home.  I spoke with her several times and I could hear her kindness in her voice.  She invited me and our children to make her home our home.  She helped us solve problems at Teema and she treated us with kindness and compassion.

It was the request of Eliakira that she that her permanent resting place be at her home in Teema and we welcome her.  I welcome her.  My brother Oddo welcomes her and our children welcome her.  At Teema she becomes Mama and Bibi to all 94 of our Tumaini children.  She becomes the guardian angel of Tumaini.

I was able to speak with her daughter Jennifer for just a few moments and we both agree that this woman is an angel.  She was an angel in life and she will be our angel at Tumaini in her rest and we welcome her with love and gratitude.

And so, I have a question.  This beautiful mama . . . this beautiful dada struggled with sickness, struggled and suffered and now she rests.  Her physical work on earth is finished and she sits with God.  So why are we sad?  Why do we cry?  We love and miss her yes, but she suffers no more.  She is at peace with her Lord and we must be grateful for having known her heart, her spirit, her kindness.

And so, today we grieve the loss of our mama.  We grieve the loss of our dada, our friend, but let us also remember that Eliakira’s giving is not finished.  She will rest with us at Tumaini and we welcome our new angel.  She will watch over orphaned children and help to keep them safe and healthy.  She will teach them not to be afraid of death but to celebrate the life that came before it.

We are all sad today for the loss of this special lady but let us also remember her kindness, her goodness, her heart, for this is her legacy.

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