Africa is not a mess. It’s a home to many people and a place God closely watches and participates in daily. It’s a place He loves, not only because it is his nature to love, but because people are so broken that they pray a lot more than in other areas.
Africa isn’t a problem we need to fix—it’s a people we need to love and learn about and recognize as fellow brothers and sisters. Some people recognize this already but others seem to think the entire continent is some other world that deserves our prayers and funds at Christmas.
By all means, send funds to the right programs. But Africa doesn’t just need money. It needs capable leaders who can shine a little bit of light in and change the parts that are bad, while keeping the parts that are beautiful and endangered but worthy to be protected.
Westerners and Africans here are making enormous strides in reducing the pain and anguish of poverty. They are equipping local pastors, educating students, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and healing people in hospitals. As much as I hope to see African leaders rise up in honesty and truth to change the corruption, pray for their people and establish peace, there is a really long way to go before the world can check out entirely.
I said something really really dismissive and cutting today. It probably injured two people I said it to. I was still pondering things about my future and what it looks like in regards to jobs, location, service…and you know how I can be…saying things before I think.
I talked about my new conviction to sponsor native missionaries. I left out the part where I appreciate everything the international missionaries here are doing for Christ I skipped the part about the significance of educated Westerners implementing programs, feeding students, preaching and planting. I didn’t recognize the sacrifice of those who have been here and stayed here and drained every amount of energy loving people and changing things.
My recent experience reading about the need for nationals to step up and change their own countries has been a topic of conversation, a train of thought that never really gets to the station, and a source of confusion and interest.
The statement I made about wanting to sponsor native missionaries should’ve been followed up by a comment about how I currently support and love international missionaries too. As much as we’d like to see Africa stand strong in the near future without outside aid, the plan is currently to continue helping the helpless until we hear other instructions.
I’ve had trouble recently explaining to my own soul that God has promised things to me and he never breaks his promises. And I’ve had a tricky go at understanding the Great Commission in 2009.
Current questions: Supporting foreign missionaries vs. national missionaries vs. kids and education? Salary vs. raising support? Fulltime ministry vs. business/corporate world? Ph.D vs. marriage and parenting? Wait. Why choose?
Here’s what I am finally seeing: the Holy Spirit isn’t some “ooh-wee-ooh-wee-ooh-wee” thing who shows up at youth conferences and emotional weekend retreats. He is GOD himself. And he lives in us.
He makes the decisions. He makes the way. He provides rest, funds, safety, ideas, knowledge, patience, success, smiles, food, water, sun, rain, vacations, sunrises, joy, communication and stability. I’m thankful he’s letting me and my friends here help out. I’m more thankful than I’ve expressed for the fruit I’ve seen and the love they show—because instead of talking about how sad it is, something actually was started and actually saved lives. Sure, there are some things only an African person can do to reach their community. But there are other things only Westerners can do. And then, to blow up the whole idea, God can do anything he wants with anyone he decides to use. So Africa is in His hands and I’m not worried.