It has been my privilege to host Audley’s (Milo) daughter Kimberly in Ontario the last 8 days. I of course remember Kimberly from when she was a young girl. Some of you who traveled with me to Jamaica on TourMagination tours will remember our fantastic driver / guide Audley, commonly known as Milo. He took on the nickname in appreciation of Milo Shantz who helped him get started in the transportation/guiding business.
Kimberly is Audley’s youngest daughter. Audley passed away 4 years ago and she misses him greatly. Not only was he her much-loved father; he was also her supporter, encourager and adviser. This past January I visited Kimberly in Jamaica and as her father had done many times, she hosted me on the beautiful island. She took me to visit Audley’s grave and helped facilitate visits with many of the friends I developed over my 30+ years of working in Jamaica with TourMagination and Habitat for Humanity.
One of Audley’s greatest wishes was for Kimberly to visit his friends in Ontario. This is her first visit. When she arrived last weekend we went to Erb Street Mennonite Church on Sunday Morning. I told her her Dad worship here when he visited Canada and that I was pastor here for 13 years.
Drs. Ross and Richard Kennel invited us to their home on Lake Huron on Sunday night. The scenery was spectacular as we drove to the lake.
Kimberly is a gynaecologist and obstetrician at the St Ann’s Bay Hospital in Jamaica. She expressed an interest in meeting other doctors and visiting hospitals and clinics. Ross and Richard enjoyed talking with her and Ross also arranged visits at the hospital in Kitchener/Waterloo and to seniors’ facilities and clinics.
During this past week I also took her to see Janet ‘s grave. The iris I planted following her death were in full bloom. Janet of course also worked with Audley and had meet Kimberly during our visits to Jamaica.
We also visited the Learning for Humanity office to discuss and learn about this ministry which provides digital education materials around the world. My daughter Janelle is one of the principals and heads up the team providing the curriculum materials included for each country. Kimberly was interested in the material provided for the Nursing School in Zambia. There may be some resources that Kimberly will use at her teaching work in Jamaica.
Of course, Kimberly needed time for shopping. She reminded me she gets a chance to shop once a year when she comes North. I also took her to the Ontario Mennonite Relief Sale yesterday at New Hamburg. We meet many of my friends, some whom remembered her Dad. One of the first things to do at the relief sale is to taste the potato donuts made by Tavistock Mennonite Church and the neighbouring congregations. Even though it is a long time since I served as the pastor at Tavistock, the donuts still taste just as good!
Today Kimberly is celebrating her 30th Birthday. We worshiped at the St Agatha Mennonite Church and the congregations sang Happy Birthday to her at the end of the service.
She returns home on Wednesday. She has a few more meetings scheduled at the hospital. Her hope is to arrange a fellowship at an Ontario hospital, allowing her to work, study and develop a deeper specialization within a field related to women’s heath. This is her passion. She said, I now know why my dad wanted me to visit Canada. Everyone is so warm, friendly and it is safe in Canada. Thanks to all the persons who assisted me in hosting Kimberly.
I pray she will go home enriched and have more energy for her work. I pray that the doors will open , so that her desires for deeper service can be realized.
~ Wilmer Martin