The Kenyan red soil blew hard all day as Jeremiah and I organized a group of college students from the nearby Moffet Bible College along with a handful of Jeremiah’s friends, family & members from his local church community. The purpose of the day was to go out into the community, get to know them better, and have the community better know us. We shared how we were motivated by our faith to love and to serve. We listened to heart-wrenching stories of pain, of hopelessness and of loss. It was a long dusty day in Maai Mahiu, but one that would forever change my life. At the end of the day, I remember standing in the middle of town and hearing a stirring within gently saying, “If you want to see real change…commit.” That was it. And now here we are 21 years later, two friends…Jeremiah and me…two co-founders still working diligently in this place, with our beautifully committed team of co-laborers, board members, investors, customers and donors working and walking alongside us to create something authentic and true that is built to last.
What does it mean to be committed to a place? What does it mean to be committed to a people? Twenty-one years ago, I wasn’t sure what it meant, but now I do. It is a journey to the greatest of highs and the greatest of lows. You at some point realize that it is not so much about the mission or a particular outcome, but truly living the journey hand in hand, walking together towards something that you are both learning along the way. For us at Ubuntu Life this has unfolded in the form of a hybrid for-profit/non-profit company where the Ubuntu Life business and the Ubuntu Life Foundation work symbiotically to reinforce our commitment to the least of these in our community. Where what we do is merely a reflection of who we are. And what we are is a global team dedicated to a place and a people to see our lives formed and shaped through love. That love is lived out in action. The action of business and service.
As a reminder to all of us of this commitment, we stitch the blue and orange beaded mark into our products. This mark is at a 36° angle. The town of Maai Mahiu is located 1° south and 36° east of the equator. Our hope is that this mark serves as a sign of our unending commitment to one another and to the people of Maai Mahiu, Kenya, but also to you as our friends and customers that you too belong with us as we create this ever evolving, interconnected love story of our humanity and our need for one another.