Give Me the Simple Life: One Person Can Make a Difference


“Don’t worry what you could do if you lived your life over; get busy with what’s left.” Amish proverb

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 11.22.34 AMThe Calling, book 2 in the ‘Inn at Eagle Hill’ series (Revell), was inspired by a remarkable woman in the San Francisco Bay Area named Mother Williams. In the novel, it took five Amish sisters to do the work of one Mother Williams. You can read for yourself why the story of Mother Williams was such an inspiration to a novel:

Can one person make a difference? Even a woman who might be, say, considered elderly?

Consider Victoria Williams of Richmond, California. Eleven years ago, when Victoria was 77(!), she saw a need in her community for a weekly soup kitchen. She knew she was a good cook, but she would need some qualifications to serve others. So she took the required courses for food safety and preparation and got to work.

On Thursday mornings, Victoria—known as Mother Williams—prepares food in her church’s kitchen that she has gathered from the local Food Bank and from donations. On Fridays, she serves lunch.

“For a very long time, Mother Williams worked in the soup kitchen alone,” volunteer Becky Blakey said. “She had a creative system. First she would use her cane to prop open the door, then she would pull the boxes of food into the kitchen with her cane.”

After a video was made about Mother Williams, it was shown at my church. Mother Williams was in attendance that morning and received a standing ovation from the congregation. Becky Blakey went up to meet Mother Williams to ask if she could come and help prep food on Thursdays. Of course! Mother Williams told her.

Becky started to volunteer regularly. Soon, her friends joined her. “Mother Williams has a couple of rules,” Becky said. “She wants those who come for lunch to be served so they don’t stand in a cafeteria-like line. They have a place to sit at a table and are served a plate of food. And before everyone eats, she insists they hear a word from the Lord. ‘Jesus gave you this day,’ she says. ‘He didn’t have to do that, but He did. So now we are going to hear His words.’ And then she’ll read a few verses of Scripture.”

Currently, at age 88, Mother Williams and her team of volunteers serve over one hundred lunches every Friday.

Can one person make a difference? Yes.

At any age? Absolutely.

Mother Williams – Richmond-Summer of Hope from CPC Danville on Vimeo.

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About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.


  1. Sharyl B. says:

    What an inspiration Mother Williams is. She makes me want to get out there and do more for people. If she can do so much at her age, the rest of us have no excuses.

  2. Jan Hall says:

    Wow. She could definitely put me to shame. I went to a funeral at church recently. When the family arrived I felt bad because the older ladies jumped up to serve and I had to sit down because I was in pain.