After we arrived at the Kilimanjaro airport in Tanzania, after close to 30 hours of traveling, we spent one night in the Springlands hotel in a town called Moshi. Some things you should know: Tanzania is actually pronounced Tahn-Zahn-Yuh by the locals! Also it is imperative for me to share with you how the Lion King came alive to us all while we were in Africa. Ok, maybe it was more so a joke, but some of the Swahili were were learning usually brought us back to some portion of the Disney movie. For instance, Asante in Swahili means “Thank You”. And if you say, Asante sana, that means “thank you very much”. So, being the adult that I am, I couldn’t help but start singing…y’all know…and if you don’t know, YOU NEED TO:
It was there that I had my first encounter with a Masai Warrior who happened to be working at the hotel. WOW. That coupled with the dirt roads, the random goats and chickens roaming around those roads and all the people we saw walking with heavy loads on their backs, well, I couldn’t help but feel like I was finally in Africa!
Even in the midst of the nostalgia of stepping into an African dream – one that I had been preparing for both physically and spiritually – the day-to-day reality hits you like a brick wall. poverty. I guess most people think of poverty when they think of Africa and most third world countries. Tanzania and Malawi both are listed for the world’s most Least Developed Countries, which means that education, literacy, health and nutrition are not as accessible. Also, most people with families live off of less than a dollar a day. FAMILIES–with kids. But let me say that again…MOST PEOPLE MAKE LESS THAN $1 A DAY. Does that register? Less than $365 A YEAR. I challenge you to let that hit you – and if you’re single like me and think “my money is my own and I don’t really have to think about it until I have a family”, well, you’re wrong and so am I. We should be more thoughtful about this.
The area of finance has been one of the greatest challenges for me and I’m sure for most. It’s our culture. Money and the way we live or would like to live greatly impacts us. Think about it!! It’s mind boggling. God has really been doing a number on my heart. I am selfish and it’s easier for me to do things with my money for my interest and overlook how FAR and WIDE my money can be used to bless others for the Kingdom. Friends, it’s God’s money. I say this humbly and under a rock, because I know I view the 10% as God’s, then it’s my bills and the rest is, well, as my friend put it, “allowance”. That usually leaves little that we can actually share with those in need. I’m finding more and more throughout scripture and looking at the life and ministry of Christ,that scripture is replete with references on the poor, orphaned and oppressed — and THAT’s how we are to primarily spend ourselves:
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them…if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday” Is. 58
“IF“…that must mean most people didn’t take heed then and I don’t think much has changed now.
So, day 2 of the trip was heavy and I am still feeling the weight of it. Like I said earlier, much of what I experienced in Africa is changing my perspective and it’s not easy, because it makes me live less like a culture and hopefully more like Christ. My prayer is that you would too. There is SO much to do, that it can feel overwhelming, both here in the United States, in your local neighborhood and thinking of the enormity of what’s going on overseas, but God is a GOD of multiplication and with my “little”, it sure can be A WHOLE LOT to those who have nothing. That’s an incredible thought!