When it comes to building global community, there is perhaps no better example than Mary Davis. When Mary passed away in 2014, she left a legacy of compassion, advocacy and selflessness. An attorney in Cleveland, she heard about ServLife in 2009 at Church of the Good Shepherd. She was so moved by the people of Nepal and ServLife’s microfinance program, that she soon began traveling to Thingan, Nepal and helped raise enough money to bring the microfinance program to the small village.
As a longtime partner with ServLife, Mary built lasting and loving relationships with her brothers and sisters in Nepal. Recently, several members of her Nepali family reflected on the impact she had on their lives.
Udaya Bhatta, Director of ServLife’s Nepal children’s ministry, remembers Mary with admiration. “Mary Davis was a loving lady, a godly lady. She had a godly heart,” he reflects.
From the time he first met Mary, he knew her love for Nepal was deeply sincere. “When she saw our children’s ministry here in Nepal, she really wanted to help more,” he said. “From then on, she started loving Nepal. She went to Thingan and she saw the poor families. I think she felt that from the bottom of her heart.”
For Udaya, Mary’s legacy is clear. “So many things I have learned from her. But one thing is…the vision that ServLife has, she had the same vision, building a global community.”
Ratna Ghale, ServLife’ pastor in Thingan, remembers her like family. “After Mary’s last visit, we heard that she had passed away,” he said. “It was very hard for us to believe because she became part of our family. Whenever she came here she stayed with us. She didn’t demand anything we didn’t have. She lived like we live here. She was like family to us.” This spirit of humility and equality is a true embodiment of all that ServLife does.
For Narayan Ghale, Mary’s life had a very tangible impact. He was the first recipient of a microloan after Mary helped raise funds for the program. “She was so compassionate for this village,” he remembers. “That’s why she brought up the idea of the loan for this village. Through her, we are so blessed.”
Now, when he looks around Thingan, he sees Mary’s legacy everywhere. “Before microfinance, people were poor. They didn’t have money but after microfinance, they have money now. They can take care of their families. They can send their children to school.”
Adam Nevins, Executive Director of ServLife, sees in Mary a life worth imitating. “Mary could have been focused on making big money as a lawyer. She could have been focused on the numbers as a donor. But she cared more about people than anything. She was a personal inspiration, and I want to be like Mary.”
“Mary had enough ‘can-do’ spirit to travel to Nepal, the world’s rooftop, to meet the people helped by the micro-loans from our donations,” Mary’s friend Carol Diedrichs-Himes reflects. “Mary was [an] irresistible force. No immovable objects could endure. And even now, she’s still a trailblazer, going ahead of us to heaven. Someday when we step across that threshold into The Light, guess who will have organized the welcoming committee on the other side.”
The ripples of Mary’s life are still felt around the world. She lived boldly, humbly and with boundless compassion. May we each have the courage to be like Mary.