Written by Amy Murakami
King Solomon knew the impact a friendship could have on a person and went as far as to say that a friend’s company can refresh one’s soul. Harvey was that kind of guy. Having the chance to see and work with him after a year (or two… or three) apart was nothing short of refreshing. The loss of Harvey is devastating for our organization and those of us who were blessed enough to call him “friend.”
In my opinion, regardless of what you believe, there’s luck, there’s chance, and then there’s God. Meeting Harvey and his wife Michaell was definitely the latter. When BRIGHT Children International traveled to Managua, Nicaragua in 2013, they were in need of translators, and were paired up with Harvey and Michaell. This power couple gave 100% all the time, and they truly became instrumental in our mission. We knew that when we returned to Nicaragua in 2014, we had to request these two by name. They worked tirelessly to understand our jobs and what we do so they could best communicate to the people we were working with what they needed to know. Harvey quickly became the favorite of a few team members who “claimed” him as their own; naturally everyone wants the best.
When BRIGHT was called the following two years to Guatemala, there was a sense that no one else would be able to fill Harvey and Michaell’s shoes. So, we brought them with us (well, technically they met us there). Harvey jumped right in…literally…right in the pool with our aqua-therapist and learned everything he could about the service so he could take it back to the people in need in his country.
BRIGHT traveled to Ecuador two years later in 2018, joyfully serving alongside Harvey and Michaell again. The “adventures” didn’t stop here, when Harvey landed himself in the hospital after slipping in the shower. I’m sure he’s laughing about it now as he sees me write this. He got right back to work the following day and didn’t look back. He told his wife he loved Ecuador and never thought he’d get the chance to go.
COVID-19 has taken much from many but losing Harvey in September of 2021 was hard to comprehend. This man is irreplaceable as a team member, translator, and friend. It grieves us to know that his sweet friendship won’t be a refreshing balm to our soul the next time we travel.
Until we meet again, Harvey, your memory lives with us.
A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.