On Feb. 11, 2011, Karen Cothren left this world to be with the Lord she so dearly loved. I only came to know Karen less than two years ago. Funny how you can "know" some people for years and years and even see them every day, but they rarely affect your life and often do nothing to enrich or inspire you. Karen was one of those people who enriched and inspired all who passed her way in just one meeting.
Although she never came with us to Guatemala, she somehow believed in our work. She always followed my blogs and emails and soon became one of our greatest contributors in so many ways. Always apologizing that she wished she had the financial means to make huge contributions, she was so cognizant that real change comes from the Lord above and that we are only His hands. Yet, she gave so generously and so from her heart. She recognized that she and her sister were among the wealthiest people on earth in terms of their spirit, soul and faith.
Karen would send me inspiring messages almost daily. She seemed to know exactly what verse to send or what words to say that would keep me encouraged and fortified when challenges came along. She and her sister, Veela, would always remind me that they were "two pairs of praying lips for you, your team and your work in Christ's name."
I always felt so humbled by Karen. Many of us contribute our "left-overs" to the Lord. Karen was one of those who gave her "first-fruits". It is because of people like Karen that all of us take this work so seriously. We know that so many sacrifice for those in the most need and so we see this work as truly from our most-loving God.
I will personally never forget Karen. Her life, her words and her example will continue to inspire and encourage me and bring me closer to that perfection that is Christ.