Retired Merck Exec’s cheerful giving aids family ministry
By Eric and Stephanie Stradford
AMWS, May 8, 2012, Philadelphia, PA -- Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, in a little metropolis called Philadelphia, there was born and raised a young chap who stuttered. No one really knew why the young chap stuttered. He always seemed to have so much to say and so little time to say it that the words got in the way. But there was one who always believed that this young tadpole would one day be a full grown bullfrog and hop by all the people who didn’t believe he could achieve whatever he believed he could achieve.
The young chap often shared a weekend with a kindly corporate library scientist who had matriculated through the historically black Howard University of Washington, DC and the Prestigious Drexel University of Philadelphia. The kindly corporate library scientist took a special interest in the young chap’s positive youth development. Although she had known the young chap’s mom all her life, she knew little about her goals, beliefs and aspirations. Afterall, what one person really knows everything about another?
The young chap lived in a section of town known to have presented economic security challenges. The community had given birth to urban renewal models, innovations in social economics, religious collaboration, and university expansion. But, with all its achievements, the community had yet to sustain social development and economic growth for a generation of distressed families.
Perhaps this young chap and his unique situation was “the man” that would bring change to his family and a community of distressed, disillusioned, disenfranchised Americans. “What would it take,” the kindly corporate library scientist wondered, “to prepare this youngster for a life more abundantly?” She already knew about knowledge being power. By her own example, she had demonstrated the value of a good education in making a life for herself and those she loved. She had been raised to trust in God and lean not to her own understanding.
As a professional library scientist, she knew books, in which a wealth of words had endowed her with critical skills. She could read, write, calculate, communicate, think reason and use good judgment. The kindly corporate library scientist was ready willing and able to be value-added human capital needed to impact this young chap’s “temporal economy.”
The young chap had never before heard this term, “temporal economy.” As a young tadpole barely exhumed from mommy’s womb, his story evolved from a family’s vision of his future. To his favor, the young chap got to spend some quality time with the kindly corporate library scientist . The young chap came to know and love her as “Aunt Ebu.” Not only was Aunt Ebu a corporate library scientist , she was the matriarch in a bloodline of empowered Americans known as The Walkers. In her best years, she had become the young chap’s strongest link to legitimacy as a fully endowed American. It was to Aunt Ebu’s credit that the young chap learned about the computer, and accessed an unlimited source for learning called the Internet.
She welcomed other family members who were ready, willing and able to carry on the values of her dad and mom, J.D. and Laurena Walker. She hoped that by telling the story of these ordinary people, their good works would live on through this young lad, his siblings and perhaps their children’s children.
One day, Aunt Ebu took young Niyko to see the movie, “Red Tails.” It was a story about the Tuskee Airmen, a group of African Americans who fought from the air during World War II. Niyko learned that the story had special meaning for Aunt Ebu because she had lived during that era. Her experiences endowed her with a greater appreciation for her parent’s teachings that, “With God All Things Are Possible.” She shared with Niyko her own recollection as her granny’s little black girl. She grew up at a time when African Americans were treated as second class citizens. She went to college, found work in corporate America and became a philanthropist so no black child would ever have to wonder whether they could make a difference. Aunt Ebu made Black history month real for Niyko.
She showed him the workbook from The Walker Summit on Family Values, an event which introduced Nikyo’s mom, his maternal grandfather and their siblings to J.D. and Laurena Walker. Aunt Ebu shared a story. She had Niyko read it. She endowed him with a chance to be an asset and not a liability to the Walker Family.
Niyko’s decision would give his life purpose. All of a sudden, it made sense that the computer could lead him to good information or bad information. It was up to him to decide. This was the day that Niyko decided he would apply to THE ANNUAL YOUTH ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS, and begin to use the information to carry on the good name the Walkers had given to him.
He asked Aunt Ebu, “What is a Spiritual Goal?” She answered, “that means deciding to live your life as God wants you to.” “How do I know what God wants me to do,” he asked. She took him to church with her, and introduced him to some caring adult believers. “Niyko wants some help writing a Spiritual Goal. He is doing what Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, “Seek first the kingdom of heaven and all its righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”
One of Aunt Ebu’s caring adult friends asked Niyko, “Are you saved?” “I think so,” Niyko responded. The caring adult then said to Niyko, “Don’t think…KNOW.” This is like the most important thing you can do in your life. Make a decision right now to be an asset in God’s Kingdom and always remember this decision. “YES!!!!” said Niyko. I want to be an asset in God’s kingdom because Aunt Ebu taught me that ALL THINGS are possible with God.” She said, “God will never leave me alone. I will always remember that.”
All of a sudden, The God’s Word touched Niyko’s heart, and the words from his mouth brought credit to the Walker Family name. He knew that God had his back, and he was ready to be an asset to his Aunt Ebu’s legacy.