I'm not going to spend a bunch of time making excuses for the length of time that has passed since I've posted.. I'm also not going to make some grandiose empty promise about how often I've "resolved" to post this new year. Let's just move on.
We had a missionary from Botswana, Africa at our church this past Sunday. In case you are geographically impaired, here's a map.
So, yeah, just above South Africa.
What I really wanted to get into, is the fact that half the population in Botswana has HIV. That it only rains a few inches during the entire year there. That, in many places, people are afraid for their life for one reason or another.
The missionary shared that his home is surrounded by a NINE foot concrete wall with several strands of electrical wire over that. His home is separated in two different parts. There is the living quarters and then past an iron gate they have their sleeping quarters. The strategy to this is that all of their valuables are in the living quarters. If someone wanted to rob them, they would hopefully stop at the living quarters and leave the missionary and his family alone in the sleeping quarters.
Then there is the topic of the churches there. The missionary showed us many pictures of what I would call shelters that the believers use for churches. I'm not saying that their are no beautiful buildings in this country, but in these far off towns, the people their only require a structure that is helpful for keeping the sun off their bodies and some sort of wall to keep the animals out....I'll try to find an adequate picture for you...
Here are some things that we (as Americans) require in our churches: (I am NOT exaggerating about these things.) Air-conditioning, heat, soft and comfortable seating (hopefully some that I can etch my backside into because I will claim that seat as my own), amazing music that is not too loud/not too old/a good amount of hymns/not so many hymns/sounds professional etc. etc., a sermon that is not too long/not too short/uses the correct amount of scripture/is practical/is informative/gives me the greek and latin and hebrew pronunciation AND definition - BUT don't ask me to actually LIVE by what is being preached, programs for my kids because I certainly don't want them in church with me because then I would actually have to teach them to be respectful during service, no noise from children because that would be too distracting.
Okay, I'm sure you get where I'm going with this. We are obviously spoiled compared to third-world countries. But really, we do not have to compare ourselves with people who are starving (both physically and spiritually) we just need to have compassion for them. The kind of compassion that leads us to productive action.
And we should stop complaining so much.
Breathe your life.