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posted 4/18/2012

JBFC Mourns The Loss of Janada Batchelor

Dear Friends of our JBFC Family,

I am writing this letter with extreme sadness in the wake of the death of my grandmother, Janada "Mimi” Batchelor. Many of you know Mimi wasn’t just my inspiration. She was my best friend. And her loss has left a tremendous hole in my heart.

Mimi was the woman who introduced me to Africa. After years of promising to take me on safari in Tanzania, she threw a wrench in my life’s plan by requiring me to work in the mission field outside of Mwanza. It was the trip that changed the course and passion of my life.  

People often wonder why I thought I could make a difference in Tanzania. Mimi is the reason. When I was growing up, she always instilled in me the importance of service, kindness and the need for compassion in our lives. She was the one who told me one person can make a difference. Neither of us knew how much these values would drive my life and land me back in Tanzania, serving the girls and people that Mimi loved so much. 

For whatever reason, Tanzania held a special place in Mimi’s heart and without her introducing me to the continent, I would not be doing what I am doing and I would not have the incredible family that we all know as JBFC. 

She will remain the passion behind the vision and is the beloved "bibi” (grandmother in Swahili) of the JBFC girls and students. Her smile and contagious laugh will be sorely missed by all of us who knew her.  I ask that you keep my family in your prayers, and I encourage you to join me, the girls, and the rest of the JBFC team, in continuing the legacy Janada started at JBFC.

In remembrance of Mimi, 
Chris Gates