Kirah Elliott's Journal
The Elliott family & aka HOPE
Written Dec 6, 2013 1:51amDear friends of the Elliott family, greetings. My name is Sally Skiera and I have been asked by Pam to write a post in this journal. I write with trepidation as this site has been such an important part of many lives since December 10 of last year. First, I send our sincere condolences to Kirah's strong, beautiful family and friends. We share in your sadness and feel privileged to have known sweet Kirah.Pam asked that I share the mission of aka HOPE and the special relationship between the Elliotts and the organization in Uganda founded and managed by our daughter, Courtney Skiera-Vaughn and her husband, Chris. Even before aka HOPE was incorporated, the Elliotts chose to sponsor a young girl named Brenda who has been so blessed to have the opportunity to attend school, receive a uniform (possibly her first set of personal clothes ever), be assured of a small bowl of mush daily and receive love from the amazing teacher. To have the chance to be educated and off the dangerous streets of the slums for even a few hours a day is a life-changing gift. Upon hearing of Kirah's accident, Brenda burst into tears and ran out of the school as the teacher tried to gain her own composure. When a smiling Brenda returned to class, she told the teacher that she realized her God is also Kirah's, and she could go to their shared God with her sorrow and prayers!As the school learned of God's timing to bring Kirah home to Him, there were many tears shed, with Teacher Claire especially saddened as she said that not a day had passed without time spent before the Lord on Kirah's behalf. This crying woman in an African village is sharing the grief with our precious Elliott family in TN. Also, an elderly woman designated as spokesperson from the slum community arrived at school yesterday to inquire about the young "Teacher Kirah" for whom the children now grieved. This act was proof that trust has been established where Kirah has made such an impact. What a missionary Kirah was and continues to be!The children at the school each received a "Pray for Kirah" bracelet that they continue to wear. It not only serves as a reminder to pray, but blesses them as this is a special item all their own with a soft glow that brings comfort at night to their dwellings with no electricity. They wore their bracelets for the 1st Annual Kirah Fun Day yesterday, an event that had been in the making for many weeks. Aka HOPE wanted to share the joy Kirah experienced from running by instituting this day involving various kinds of races and games, bringing smiles and laughter to all. What a beautiful legacy and so fitting for a fun-loving girl who thrived on sharing her joy with the friends who meant so much to her!The Elliott family's decision to honor sweet Kirah by passing along donations in lieu of flowers is a testament to their immense, unselfish desire to help & bless others. They have asked us to share information about aka HOPE on Saturday when we all gather to celebrate the life of Kirah Joy.Thank you.
Written Dec 5, 2013 10:30am
Wanted to give you a heads up on some different/special things we wanted to do to "Celebrate Kirah”. We know you will come to the visitation with a certain person/people in mind to see, but maybe not all five of the Elliott clan. Therefore, the Elliotts will be spread out in front. Let me paint a word picture for you. Think of a race track that loops around the infield. You will come into the sanctuary looping from the back to the front. If there is someone you wish to speak to, make a pit stop to the infield where they stand, if not keep going around the track. That will mean there will be two loops, the inside and outside track. Feel free to move in and out of those loops as you speak to my family. When you have spoken to all you wish, head up the isle to leave or find your seat. We are not traditionalists and will not be hurt at all if you do not speak to us. Also, we believe this system will help the line keep moving. Come to the early visitation or the one after the service. If you do not get to spend enough time with us…..please know our door on Corby Bridge is always open to you!!! Always!
Special memories are mostly all we have left of Kirah. There will be many tables for you to look at sharing memories of Kirah and tables for you to share the Kirah you knew. This is a time of healing and hope for all! We would like to give you an opportunity to share these memories and stories. One way is to write these down. You may write these memories and stories down ahead of time if they are long and you want to think the wording through, or write them Saturday with the supplies we provide. If they are only for the family to read, please put the word in big letters “PRIVATE” on top and put them in the box provided. If all can read what you have written they will be put on the “Kirah Tree of Memories”. Look for the table with branches on it to do these things. There will be someone there at that table to help you. Later we will post allowed memories and stories on caring bridge. Also, please bring pictures you would like to share that have Kirah in them. We will also have a table for you to share these pictures. For years to come we would be blessed by the pics, memories, and stories you have of her.
A.k.a.HOPE will have a display. The Skiera family whose daughter and son-in-law started that mission’s organization will be at this table. My heart is overwhelmed with joy that Kirah’s memory will live on by helping these children!!!
At this time questions arise, like will I see her body, what I should wear, or what should I say. My sweet, silly Kirah had a fear of ants and worms, so the thought of her body being in the ground with them freaked her out. Her wish was to be cremated. We will not be displaying the ashes. This is not a funeral, but a celebration so we want the focus to be on hope and life! Clothing wise, wear whatever you feel comfortable in. Lastly, please do not feel pressured thinking you must have the right words to say or I do not want to make them cry. We all loved Kirah!!! No words can erase our missing her and some tears will come. A gentle hug, I am praying for you, etc. is what you and I both need. We love YOU!
“May your unfailinglove rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you.” Psalm 33:22
Written Dec 4, 2013 4:15pm
Here is the website where you can learn more about a.k.a. HOPE. http://www.akahope.org/akaHOPEinc/index.html This organization was founded by family friends that left TN to touch the Ugandan children with their huge hearts of love. The remarkable work they are doing with these children most of whom have been abandoned by parents to the streets,and the multitude of sacrifices they have made would astound you. The website does not do this group justice. Our hearts just wanted to honor Kirah by helping others.
On one of the tables, there will be info from their website and a box for donations, if you wish not to do online giving and want us to give it to them put your donation in the box. We will get it to them.