I first met Maisha founder Beatrice Williamson when she was an interview guest on the morning news. (You can see that here, or scroll below.)
Born in a small Kenyan village – please do not even call it a town – in a warn-torn region of the world. (Please do not dismiss civil strife and war as anything less than horrible for humankind.) I saw in this beautiful, inspiring, statuesque woman someone who beams with the spirituality of the highest order. And it was made possible, I believe she will tell you today, by education. By opportunity. Her life is dedicated to changing the lives of others, since Maisha actually means “life”, you can understand how the orphanage in her home village came to be
Flash forward to the far-less humble city of Oklahoma City in the USA where Aunty Bea (to her kids at Maisha) asked me to assist with their first fundraising banquet. It was an honor I will cherish forever. I have been blessed to emcee or host dozens of events in my life and career ( a blog for another day), and I never say no if I believe in what is being supported. I’ve never believed in any of them more than this one.
Much has happened since the first banquet, but Beatrice has asked me again to help and I am honored. My gift of gab pales in comparison to the gifts of so many who will take part in the banquet (including my friends, artists Mike Wimmer and Jimy Grabowski, Ben Potter, Brent Gibson and others). I hope my OU buddy Mark Nehrenz and one of many dedicated professionals who have made it a part of their lives to make Maisha a success will be there.
So if you have the opportunity to do anything special this holiday season to represent your gratitude for the life you have been able to live (perhaps by sheer good fortune of being born in the USA, for example!), consider joining me at this year’s Maisha Lights the Future event on November 17th, 2012 at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.