Leaving a Legacy
My 92-year-old grandfather, Harry Kwak, Sr., has been enrolled in-home hospice care as he faces his final days. He has enjoyed great health and an amazing, full life. His 4 children, 15 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great-grandchildren have all enjoyed his love and guidance throughout our lives. My grandpa leaves a powerful legacy of faith behind. From serving at the Harrah Community Church, the Flying H Boys Ranch, and Campus Life, to giving rides to neighborhood children to church every Sunday, he was faithful to God and to his community. He worked hard all his life and yet made time to give us a “jeep ride” around the pond in an old WWII army jeep he painted silver. He loved watching his grandchildren participate in sporting events from basketball to polo. There isn’t a place he can’t go without running into someone he knows in the Yakima valley. His influence and legacy is far-reaching and has incredible depth. He will be missed.
Monday, as I took my children to visit him in the hospital, I read some of his favorite scriptures and we sang hymns together. At the end of our prayer time, he sang out, “Amen. Amen. Amen, Amen, Amen!” in perfect pitch, just like Sidney Poitier in “Lilies of the Field”. My grandpa wasn’t perfect, by any means, but he left his mark on the world and on the people around him. One of the simple things which means the world to me are the letters he wrote to me while studying in college. He didn’t write anything particularly profound, but he took the time to tell me that he loved me and was proud of me, and that was precious.
Last night, many of us enjoyed a meal together with Rev. Dr. Rob Hagan as we learned about legacy giving. If you were unable to join us and would like more information, please ask me or Dave Rohrig. We have great resources to share. One of the important parts of leaving a legacy is how we will be remembered. What are the words of love that will last as a legacy to your life? What are the actions you can do today to make a difference in the lives of the people around you? Legacy gifts along with our works and words are an important way to continue to reach people in loving ways even after we are gone. But while we are given the gift of another day, let’s make a difference for God today. Please join us this Sunday for Church Inside Out with combined worship at 9am and living as the heart and hands of Jesus Christ in service projects throughout the community with our mission partners. Let’s leave a legacy of love in our families, our community, our country and our world.
Thank you, God, for opportunities to love and serve one another. Thank you for grandparents who instilled a love for you in our lives. Help us to be the ones leaving a legacy of faith when we are gone. Amen.
Hanna P. Shearer