Friday, October 15, 2021
In many places, like Kenya, when a destitute older person without kin or anyone to care for them dies, especially in a rural area, they are often just left. Whatever belongings they had are taken and the body is often found later, sometimes consumed by dogs or other animals.
Part of our Sponsor a Grandparent program in Ahero, Kenya, allows for the older person to have a proper coffin and funeral arrangements made so that they can die with dignity. A funeral in this part of the world is breathtaking, with the community gathering for a celebration and volunteers gathering to sing and praise. I had the great privilege to participate in the funeral of Okelo Odeny, a man who lived for 80 years, with no kin. We had recently built Mr. Odeny a new home which will now be given to another sponsored grandparent in need. I was moved beyond words as we picked up Mr. Odeny from the morgue and drove him to the funeral, outside his home where the funeral was. Every moment was a joyful and tear-filled celebration. He was sung through the villages, a long life, brought to its next chapter with the rising sun, sung into glory. Rest in Peace Okelo Odeny, may light perpetual shine upon you!
The funeral and burial of the late Okelo Odeny
The now deceased, Okelo Odeny
Coffins part of the HAC funeral program in Kenya