I just had dinner with a new friend, a pastor from Nairobi, Kenya. His eyes and heart glowed with hope for his home and his people, this ravaged countryÂ on a ravaged continent. Weaved among his stories were aÂ couple pieces of jarring information:
- A family in the Nairobi slums lives in constant fear of being tossed out of their 8 byÂ 8 shack unless they can scrape together the monthly rent: the price of a cup of coffee @ Starbucks
- A girl from the slums canÂ be sentÂ to school,Â educated and taught life skills (keeping her from prostitution) that can radically alter her existence for $45 a year
- When a person has AIDS and can’t find work in the city (where drugs are available in HIV clinics), they typically have to return to the countryside, their home (where no drugs are available), to die
- For many attempting to get ahead and provide a better life for their family, their choice is: do I try to save little bits of money or do I eat?
- An entire tribal people group can learn to stop killing and raiding and hating when the gospel shows up, in the form of a water well
On this Thanksgiving week, may we truly receive what weÂ enjoyÂ as gifts from a generous God – and may we remember our opportunity (and responsibility) to care for our neighbors. True gratitude receives and enjoys, but true gratitude never hoards.Â If we don’tÂ know a neighborÂ in need (either in our own zip code or on another continent), maybe we should start looking.
Remember,Â November 30th is the deadline for our contest in search of the best picture of a church marquee sign. Â
And, if you enjoy this blog, you can also check me out on my personal blog.