Honoring Del and Lucile Anderson

Honoring Del and Lucile Anderson

With hearts full of gratitude, we extend this invitation to celebrate the life of Lucile Anderson (wife of Spirit in Action’s founder, Del Anderson) on April 25th in Oakland, CA. Please see the invite from Lucile’s family for details and how to RSVP.

Lucile’s son, Rob Hanford, shares that in her last days Lucile was “still growing, still teaching. It was amazing and uplifting to see the genuine love that the staff at Windsor had for mom, and the deep sadness at her passing. When you consider that she couldn’t speak during the six years she was there, her presence was very strong.”

We honor the beautiful spirit in Lucile and the kindness, love, and generosity she shared with the world!


Marsha Johnson, SIA Advisory Board member and former SIA Administrator, remembers: “I could always count on Lucile to thoughtfully speak her truth, whether in a meeting or in a private conversation together. I knew that this “truth” was preceded by prayerful pondering, and then Lucile would say something like:  “My guidance is……””

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Spirit in Action. You can make a donation in Lucile’s memory online or by mail.


Del and Lucile had quiet time together every morning. Perhaps these words from Del (from 2006) might have been thoughts they pondered during these prayerful times together.

Wisdom from Del: The Path of Transformation

  • Begin right where you are with what you have.
  • Give thanks to God for the gift of your own special life.
  • Thank God for family, friends, community and for all that has brought you to this present, holy moment.
  • Each day, spend time with God in the silence, sensing God’s Spirit of love within YOU.
  • Let go of all that binds and limits you, and sense God’s empowering Spirit coming forth within you more and more fully, day by day.
  • Open to gratitude, expectation and wonder.
  • Recognize that you are a Spiritual being with God’s indwelling Spirit activating you.
  • In the quiet, sense the true needs of yourself, your family, your community.
  • Lay these true needs before God, opening to God’s guidance and empowerment, letting God come forth in every aspect of your life.

We have a new logo!

We have a new logo!

I am so excited to share Spirit in Action’s new logo! Wait, new logo? Did SIA have an old logo? Short answer, not really. Long answer, we only had a stylized font version of our name and so not really.

This new logo is our opportunity to capture the spirit of our work in an image and continue with our best foot forward. And so we started the logo design process (led by the talented folks at Ballyhoo Design) by defining the core of our work:

  • Spirit In Action is supportive and relationship-focused.
  • Spirit In Action is compassionate, encouraging, empowering.
  • Spirit In Action is community-oriented.

We wanted the logo to represent both our approach to grantmaking AND the actual SIA programs. And I think the new logo blends those perfectly!

  • The hands show the relationship focus, and they also represent the leadership by our partners in Africa.
  • The leaf expresses our passion for sustainable agriculture, and represents our grants that support training and farmers.
  • The water droplet is about drinking and irrigation water and also represents that our grants are drops that fall into a greater ocean. Our drops ripple out and multiply – spreading through Sharing the Gift, cooperation, and empowered communities –reaching many more people than were touched by the first drop.

And so, without further delay, Ta-da!


What does this logo inspire in you? Would you sport a water bottle or tote bag with our logo? I’ll be adding the logo to our website and social media soon!

P.S. Did you notice that we moved to a new website address? Our whole website is now at the most natural URL: www.spiritinaction.org. Feel free to bookmark us for quick access!

What I’m grateful for this week

What I’m grateful for this week

Is anyone else having a week where there seems to be too much bad news in the world? Time to record some things I’m grateful for, to keep the focus on the positive things in my life…

(If you’re already feeling really positive this week, maybe you can share some good news in the comments below!)

Gloria singing!  (Photo by Steven Thrasher)

Gloria singing!
(Photo by Steven Thrasher)

1. I am grateful for the passionate and prayer-filled life of Gloria Knapstad, former SIA Board member and one of my “spiritual grandmas,” who passed away on July 29th. During SIA Board meetings, Gloria always encouraged us to stop and pray before continuing on with a difficult discussion. And usually that led us into consensus.

I am grateful for the many times we sang together at CFO/JFO camps and Board meetings. One of our favorites to sing together was “He Lives.” We’d belt out the last line, repeating it 3 times for emphasis and with joy!

There will be a Celebration of Life for her this Saturday in San Jose. You can read her obituary here.

2. I am grateful that I have TOO MANY good stories and photos to fit into the SIA Fall Newsletter. We had so many great, inspiring conversations with Small Business Fund families and our local coordinators in Africa this summer and Boyd did such a great job at capturing our adventures. Here’s one that still makes me smile:


This was the end of a long day of walking on the dusty paths around rural Kasozi Village in Uganda. At our conference with Small Business Fund coordinators we spent half the day visiting groups and half the day reviewing our program. They were very busy days!

In this photo, Wambui (Nairobi, Kenya) and Dennis (Eldoret, Kenya) are taking advantage of the hour’s worth of electricity that we got from the generator each evening. Dennis is watching a TV show on his laptop, occasionally laughing out loud at lines of dialog that only he can hear. Wambui is charging her cell phone, which she used to text her sister who was taking care of her daughter in Nairobi. If you ever thought Africa was all mud huts and open-air cooking, you’re missing the cell phones and music videos played on laptops!

3. I am grateful for this encouraging message from Eileen Caddy, at the Findhorn Foundation in Scotland:

“Remember first of all I drop the seed, the idea into your consciousness. Then it takes root and begins to grow, and finally it is manifested in form, perfect in every detail. A seed never has any doubts as to what it is going to grow into, therefore you must have no doubts whatsoever about the seed which I have planted into your consciousness. Simply know it will grow and flourish and will be perfect.”

Have a good, gratitude-filled week!

5 Things Making Me Happy

I hope everyone is having a good Tuesday! Here’s a round-up of some things making me happy this week….

1. Micro-finance in the U.S.A. 

Small loans for entrepreneurs aren’t just in Africa. Yesterday, a New York Times article highlighted Grameen America’s program for micro-loans (plus: support groups and training) for small business people here in the US. Loans can be just a few thousand dollars, are low interest, and help people build their credit history. It’s encouraging to see a wider range of financial options for people all over the world, including the US. Read the article here.

2. This quote

“We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.” From Marian Wright Edelman

bawo boardgame in malawi3. Board Games in Malawi

I smiled when I came across this photo from our 2011 trip to Malawi. Alan and Paul are play Bawo (the Malawian name for Mancala) on a huge hand-carved board. I used to play this with my sister when we were kids. Our board was travel-sized though!

4. Missing goats

I laughed when I heard a story about a high school prank where students painted the numbers 1, 2 and 4 on the sides of three goats and turned them loose in the school.

Administrators closed the school while frantically searching for goat #3, not knowing it didn’t exist. Moral of the story? Sometimes the thing we are desperately searching for is an illusion. 

5. A chance to share (and learn)

I’m excitedly preparing to speak at Illinois College (Jacksonville, IL) next Monday on the topic of micro-finance. My talk is titled “Doughnuts, Haircuts, and Dried Fish: Entrepreneurs and Micro-Finance in Africa.” I look forward to sharing about the potential of micro-grants and hearing their thoughts about what this generation can do to create a better world.

Thank God for Gandhi

Thank God for Mahatma Gandhi. His inspired saying, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world,” has motivated generations of volunteer, including me, to get active in shaping the world for the better.  We can envision change – a better world – and we are called to DO something about putting that change into place.

In case you’re wondering, we don’t hold board meetings in fancy hotels (ha!), instead members volunteer to host the group in their homes. All board members and advisory members graciously lend their time, insight, and prayerful consideration to fundraising, grant-making, and future visioning.

Confused that I moved to Canada last year and donation checks are still sent to Santa Cruz? Never fear – we have a lovely, tech-savvy volunteer (Stephanie Paureau) who regularly checks the PO Box and notifies me and the (volunteer) treasurer about each letter and donation.

Do we still send seeds? Indeed we do – thanks to the “Office Angels” BJ Boone and Aileen Gillem. They got the title of Office Angels from volunteering to “fly in” to Del’s delightfully chaotic office and help him with tasks and organizing.

Are they volunteers?

Let us now praise the good works and dedication of our Small Business Fund Coordinators! You may recognize these names but not know that they are volunteers: Canaan Gondwe (Malawi), Dennis Kiprop (Kenya), Godfrey Matovu (Uganda), Wambui Nguyo (Kenya), and Nalu Prossy (Uganda).

For the 15-20 hours a month they work for SIA – training, mentoring, reporting – they receive a stipend to cover expenses and the satisfaction of knowing they are part of a positive change in their communities.

All Conference attendees in Eldoret.

SIA partners and Small Business Fund Coordinators from many different countries gathered in Eldoert, Kenya in 2011.

Thank you to all these essential SIA supporters who are part of the spirit of action and change in the world! And thanks to the many more who pray for SIA, donate to our programs, talk about SIA with their friends, and like us on Facebook. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist that last one!)

Has Gandhi’s saying inspired you to get involved in any change in your world? Would you like to volunteer with us?

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