Greg’s Update from Africa #3

Hi all-
I have been blogging on my experience in Africa and just wanted to share with you guys what we have been experiencing. Both Jeddy and I have been crying our eyes out at what God has been showing us. You can follow along as I prepare to go to the worst of the worst of places tomorrow. Since we’ve arrived, we have been living in luxury as they debriefed us. Tomorrow begins the long-awaited journey.
Pray for us. Thank you.
____
It is 3am in Nairobi. In about an hour, we will be preparing to leave this metropolitan city and fly out to Rwanda. There are butterflies in my stomach as I wait in anticipation. We have been preparing for this moment for a long time and now the time has come.

Nairobi is a poverty stricken place. The rich are phenomenally rich. The poor are extremely poor. Average ANNUAL income is $580 in Kenya. They are struggling with HIV and AIDS. We’ve been blown away by the amount of pain here. Even so, it is not the worst of it. World Vision has been preparing us for the worst of it. And, we’ve been preparing our hearts too.

We listened to how and where our funding goes when we give $35 per month. For every $1, a child receives $1.50 of aid. It is a stark reminder to give and to give generously because lives are at stake. It is no longer about the numbers of buying cups of coffee per week or skipping out on an extra burger. If we measure it like that, we are insulting the lives of these children.  Deuteronomy 15:11 says this:

“There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.”

We need to be generous. What opened handed means is to poor out the blessings that God has given us to help those in need.

What happens when we hesitate? When we do this, people die. I can tell you about Zina. She’s a young girl who should be worrying about growing up and prom and cute boys. Instead, she must travel 5 miles a day by foot, every day to get water for her family. Mind you, I stated “water” and not clean water. She dips her bucket in a seis pool of a pond. Worms and parasites are crawling in the bucket of water. It is a sad fact that she must do this because this is the only source of water.

What makes this story even more sad is that Zina has a little brother. He died recently from a simple ailment: diarrhea. I could not believe it. Who dies from diarrhea, these days? Apparently, people do. Many people do. And, as if this story wasn’t disturbing enough. Tomorrow, Zina will be returning to the well as she does every day until someone can help her community dig a well for clean, drinking water.

So, I challenge us with this: Who will listen and heed the cry of the poor? Who will dig Zina’s well? Who will save a life?

“If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.” Proverbs 21:13

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