Sunday, July 26, 2009

Being Inspired by Others

Earlier this year I came to know of a great organization, The BOMA Fund, which supports the majestic people of rural northern Kenya, working to alleviate poverty by assisting in the building of self-sustaining communities amid a rugged and beautiful landscape. The conditions are harsh and all of the illnesses associated with poverty and clean water are rampant. Yet, Kathleen Colson, the executive director of The BOMA Fund, returns often to Kenya, living among the people and experiencing the same in order to bring desperate change to a great people in desolate situations.

It does not take much to be in awe of Kathleen, this mother of 3 children who leaves the comfort of her Vermont farmhouse to live among such desolation to fight poverty in the most remote parts of Africa. She writes, "imagine me riding around in landcruisers with guys with machine guns and warriors with spears. Very much the reality of what I do. I don’t see another white, western person for weeks at a time, I cross deserts at night and have been shot at, almost bitten by a black mamba, had hyenas trying to break into my hut at night and have endured all of the illnesses associated with bad water and no food. I’ve eaten the raw intestines of goats, termites and the blood of cows to forge my relationships with these extraordinary people."

Kathleen Colson inspires me immensely. Reading these words, I am overwhelmed with the selflessness of her desire to help others. I am besides myself with joy in thinking of how her story encourages us to keep up the good fight of faith wherever we are and whatever we are doing. I am in awe of her passion and love for others. I am incredibly inspired by her fearlessness, not that there is no fear, but that she moves in spite of it. This is being fearless.

When I first donated to The BOMA Fund, I received the most gracious letter of thank you from Kathleen sent via the United States Post Office with writing in her own hand. It was nice to get a letter of thanks in this way which speaks directly to her hands-on approach to entrepreneurship. Kathleen does not send money to Kenya, she brings it and teaches women how to be entrepreneurs. The BOMA Fund focuses on alleviating poverty by providing grants for sustainable diverse entrepreneurial innovation which build communities, empower individuals, and support families.

Please consider donating to The BOMA Fund today. I do so regularly. You can too by clicking here. May God continue to abundantly bless Kathleen Colson, her family, and the individuals and communities she assists. May God also richly bless each and every person who donates to this Fund.

(Photos taken from The BOMA Fund website.)


septembermom said...

She is fearless and selfless. God places angels like Kathleen here to shine a light on people in need. So few of us could undergo those dangerous and harsh conditions,. I'm sure that she feels hundred times rewarded when she sees the gratitude and love in the faces of those she helps each day. I'm going to visit the BOMA Fund's website next. I hope I can help in my own little way. Thank you Judith for writing this important post.

Judith Ellis said...

Kelly - Kathleen is indeed an angel and the work that she does is so incredibly heartening. It is my pleasure to write about her. I have come to greatly respect. I am happy to know that you will drop by the site and I am sure that any help will be greatly appreciated. Little becomes much when we all contribute something. Thank you so much.

septembermom said...

Judith, I just want to add that I think your generosity of spirit and kindness makes you an angel too :)

Judith Ellis said...

Thank you, Kelly, for those encouraging words. They are much appreciated. Peace and love to you, beautiful mom. I love your blog. It reminds me of home.

The Write Girl said...

Wow Judith,

What a wonderful story and truly a worthy cause. It is amazing what Kathleen has done and she has certainly inspired people to do more and has affected countless lives. I will have to check out the site. Thank you for the inspirational post.

Judith Ellis said...

Yes! Thank you, The Write Girl, for popping over! I am happy to write of anyone who inspires so. I thought that others may also be inspired in their lives and to give. It is a worthy cause indeed.

Marion said...

Kathleen looks like a beautiful Princess who also has a beautiful, generous spirit to match. I love stories about such brave, giving women. It just makes me happy knowing there are people like her in this crazy world.

Thank you, Judith, for educating all of us in so many ways. I give every month to our local food bank, but I'll be sure to add Kathleen's fund to my list for when I can afford to give more.

God put Darfur on my heart a few years ago and I try to send some money to Jewish World Watch to buy solar cookers so the women in Darfur don't have to leave their refuge camps to collect wood for cooking---they were getting raped when doing so and the little solar stoves let them stay in their camps, safe---there is so much need in the world it just hurts my heart. If we all do our little parts, it will make a big difference. Here's a site with more information about the solar stove project if you want to post it. I'll understand if you don't, though:

God Bless YOU, Princess Judith!!!

Judith Ellis said...

Marion - There are many places in the world that need assistance. I write of The BOMA Fund here because it came highly recommended by someone who I respect and since I am personally getting to know Kathleen through correspondence and others who know the worth of her work and the integrity of her spirit.

I am happy that you support the families in Darfur; there seems to be many celebrities that also support the people there. May God bless each and every supporter of righteous causes where funds go directly to the cause and nowhere else. I pray that the Jewish World Watch is such an organization. I will pop over to their site. Thank you.

Your blessing is received, Marion. Thank you, friend.

Dave Wheeler said...


Outstanding! Great leaders are truly inspiring and the story you shared of Kathleen Colson is definitely inspiring. Service before self. Making a difference in the lives of others. Enabling others to improve the quality of their existence and their communities. Very special indeed. Bless the folks of BOMA and all others who serve their fellow man in this way!

Judith Ellis said...

"Service before self."

Awesome, Dave!