Keshi KidaneThe Last Phone Call, July 31, 2013

July 31st 2013, “My father is sick, he hears whatever you say, but cannot reply, speak with him now,” said my sister Sara. With conviction, “Father you are so great, we thank God for you, and thank you for all the price you have paid for us, because of you we are who we are now), I stated.

The following content is taken from pages ix-xii of

UNPRECEDENTED LIFE JOURNEY from Africa to the United States of America,

By Yakob K.  Adhanom, 2014

“When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.” —Cherokee expression

This is a tribute to my father. He heard of the completion of this project, yet did not see the printed copy.

Rev. Kidane Adhanom Hagos

November 27, 1927-August 2, 2013, San Jose, California

What a man of God, what a Theologian, what a Historian, what a Linguist, what a Genealogist, what an Anthropologist, what a Husband, what a Father, and much, much more…. Parental wisdom flows throughout this book.

For about a year, whenever I heard the song, ‘Even if the healing doesn’t come’ by Kutless, tears welled up from my eyes. I tried to hide from what they conveyed by switching to another favorite radio station, only to, surprisingly, find the same song. Even if the song is not on air, my inner being sings the song. Additionally, not deliberately, I find myself searching for the song. I felt the song was preparing me for the inevitability of my father’s departure. Two days before he passed, I received the long-awaited phone call, “Come to California and see him.” When I was going through the airport, the song came on again. I boarded the airplane; the song still came into my imagination. Then, I accepted the message of the song and released my father into God’s will, saying, “Okay Lord, if you give us a few more months, great; if you do not give us additional time, I will not be mad at you. The reason is that, You have shown him all the good a parent desires to see of his children.” When I arrived in San Jose, I found out that the exact moment I said, “Okay Lord,” he passed away.

On Wednesday, July 31, my father yelled “Abraham,” in a kind of unique voice that nobody heard before. Startled, his wife said, “Keshi Ha-way,” meaning my priest brother, “Abraham, your son is not here yet. Why are you calling him?”

“No, I am calling out to my Lord and father Abraham,” he replied and passed away.

Abo (Father), I worked so hard on this project so that you may see and bless my book, yet it did not happen. Nevertheless, just as I prayed while coming to see you during the final moments, I accept God’s will with thankfulness. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Praise the name of the Lord.

Abo, you were the most gracious, selfless, hardworking, and loving father one could ever have. You endured persecution and favoritism, you provided joyously; you never laid a hand on your wife, never showed an angry face, yelled, or cursed while you disciplined, even during the days of my foolishness. Abo, you are a hero. A hero dies, but his legacy lives forever.

Abo, it is hard to believe that you are gone, and shall not return until the second coming of Jesus Christ with all the fallen saints. Ever since you left us, as tears have gush up from my eyes, I have been saying repetitively, “A man of God slipped from our hand at no time to come back soon.” Nevertheless, repeatedly you have stated, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7-9) – so be it!

Since the day you departed, people cried and said, “He has lived the good life of reputable legacy. May God give us just like him and may he leave us with blessings”– so be it!

Here is my father’s brief biography: He was an Orthodox priest. An American soldier, who became a believer in the field of duty, gave him a New Testament Bible. Later, when the Old Testament Bible became printed, he worked and received it as an exchange for his labor.

“On one occasion he spoke to Mr. Mahaffy of his desire to have a Bible in Tigrinya, but was short of funds. In order to test his sincerity (many people want Bibles -but do not wish to do anything to earn them) Mr. Mahaffy offered him one in return for four days of work – a Bible costs U.S. $1.60 and the wage for common labor in this land is less than 40c per day. He willingly did this and began to study the Scriptures avidly.

During the spring of 1958, Kedani asked to be examined by Mr. Mahaffy and Mr. Duff for public confession of faith. This was done and he gave public testimony to his faith in Christ in the market places of Senafe and Adi Caieh…” Taken from The Orthodox Presbyterian Messenger, February, 1959.

2 comments on “Home

  1. Looking at this picture reminds me the words that were flowing out of Aboy Keshi Kidane. The few times I sat down with him, I learned that you can talk to Aboy Keshi Kidane about ANYTHING. He could advise you as a caring father, teach you as theologian, speak with you as a great historian and most of all a man of impeccable character. The word of wisdom coming out of him are immeasurable, incomparable but also FUN. I remember one saturday we were all sitting together and I missed a wedding just to hear Aboy Keshi Kidane word of wisdom and advice.
    Every great man, every successful man, no matter what the field of endeavor is, are those called GREAT MAN OF GOD!

    • Eli,

      You have said it perfectly. I wish I had as much time as you Californians had with him. However, I know that God always works for our good, and He knows what is good for our father.

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