It is difficult to believe that it has been just a little over a year since Mom passed on February 7, 2020. Clara West, my mom, had a great impact on our lives and people around the globe. Her love and devotion to the Lord was extremely evident.
She is notably remembered for her service with Global Partners, which gives global focus to the mission of The Wesleyan Church.
In Mom and Dad’s early days in Chiclayo, Peru, with Global Partners, she was instrumental in the formation of a Bible institute from “ground zero” to operational for young people called to ministry. Mom taught in the institute, followed by homeschooling my siblings and me.
Mom loved working with short-term ministry teams from North America in Chiclayo and later in the capital city of Lima, Peru, where we lived from 1985-1994. She served alongside Wesleyan Women in Peru and later with all of the women’s ministries in the Ibero-America area.
Our family then moved to Costa Rica, where my parents continued serving with Global Partners. Mom enthusiastically worked with new missionaries as they adjusted to the environment. She helped with practical things and encouraged them as they became familiar with the new culture, foods and language.
My parents moved to Florida in 2004, where they continued serving with Global Partners until 2019. Mom traveled with Dad to many countries, doing what she could to encourage pastors and spouses. Since her high school days, when a Cuban lady taught her Spanish, Mom had a desire to minister in Cuba. That ministry dream was filled exponentially in my parents’ last 10 years of missionary service with multiple trips to Cuba. She always took items to share with the people, pastors’ wives in particular. On one occasion, my parents took 13 large suitcases to Cuba!
Mom also had the gift of giving. Family was very important to her and she loved her four kids and their spouses well. The same goes for her 11 grandkids.
She selflessly gave her life to following God’s calling to serve others. She taught us to love everyone equally, to treat others as we would want to be treated and that it is better to give than to receive. She was known for praying with and for others. She knew when to turn the other cheek or overthrow the tables —and she did it with a good sense of humor. I will always remember Mom living these values on a daily basis and the impact it has had on my life and many others.
And yet one of the last things on Mom’s mind before she passed was whether she had done enough. Did she love enough, give enough, comfort enough? Yes, she most certainly did.
But did I love enough, give enough, comfort enough? Were chocolates and flowers enough to show Mom I loved her and was thinking of her? I could have done more for her. Have you done enough for your mother? We get wrapped up in our own little worlds and our busy schedules, and we lose sight of our loved ones, including our mothers. I wish I had done more for Mom.
This year, do a little extra for your mother. She will not be around forever. It is never too late to do more, until it is too late.
Jeff West is a jewelry business owner in Indianapolis, Indiana.