It was 1997, and we had recently moved onto the AFnet Campus. By that time it was clear that we were going to need a full-time grounds keeper to help maintain the property, as well as the fledgling palm nursery that we began as part of a self-sustainability project.
Sam impressed us with his broad smile, tender manners, and with his statement: “I am honest, I work hard, and I love God!” We hired him on the spot. And Sam came onboard as our first full-time staff member. In time, Sam married, and brought his bride to meet the growing team. Everyone loved Asnat. With her quick wit and contagious laugh she soon crept into everyone’s hearts.
But then Sam fell ill, and almost overnight died from a terrible form of skeletal, bone Tuberculosis. Young Asnat was left widowed and unsupported, with two young babies. She asked for Sam’s job, which we gladly offered her. And over the past decade Asnat continued where Sam had left off, proving to be every bit as hard working, faithful and caring of her responsibilities around the AFnet Campus.
A couple of months ago, Asnat started feeling ill, and we sent her to the clinic to be checked out. The doctor placed her on sick-leave, without giving any indication of a diagnosis. This continued for more than a month of each time just extending the sick-leave and giving no further explanation. I then demanded that she be admitted to a hospital, and that tests be run to determine a diagnosis, and that she receive the proper treatment. Sadly after a week in hospital, Asnat passed away on July 9th, without any form of diagnosis or cause stated on her death certificate. Africa is a hard place, and life is cheap! Our hearts are broken, and her place empty!
Asnat not only leaves behind her “new” husband, but also three minor children. Two children from her former husband Sam, and one from the 2nd husband. But knowing that in this culture, children from a previous marriage usually do not enjoy the same care and privilege as “own” children, AFnet is committed to help ensure that Sam and Asnat’s children receive whatever support they need going forward, to be able to continue and complete their schooling and whatever skills development they may need in future, and up to the stage where they will become fully employable and able to support themselves.
Therefore, we’ve launched a special fund to specifically help her, now orphaned, children. If you, or anyone you’d like to pass this request on to, are in a position to help towards this need, kindly forward your contribution to the AFnet Office, indicating:
In Memory: Sam and Asnat! Thank you so much!
“There’s always a learning curve. Being a part of the AFnet family means learning and growing together, and knowing that shared knowledge empowers us as partners, to know where we might more effectively fit into God’s greater plan together. It means being a part of something bigger than ourselves. It means uniting in collective action for the greater good. And so we feel comfortable to share with you when we’re happy, but also when we are sad – when we have praise reports, but also when there is need!”