Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Africa: perspective

We have spent two days on the girls school worksite now and much has been accomplished. It is a joy to be serving among those from LHC, The group of men from The Agape Church in Nairobi, the Bethany College interns and the locals hired on as laborers. Men become brothers as they work together, serving Jesus. Everyone has worked hard and the heat has been intense as there is no escape from it aside from a 3 minute cold shower in the evening or a cold Coke Tim uses to keep us moving at a lunch of rice and boiled goat stew!

There is a joy that permeates everything that is happening. The vision was cast for us on day one and has been revisited each day, as to what this project will mean to this area in the future as someday so many will be saved here. Dr Kabachia expressed to us the first night that his passion was to reach those who have never heard the gospel. He said that if someday we go to Mars he would even like to share the gospel to those who live there. While this place is as different as Mars to Wisconsin, what remains the same is when God’s people serve Him there is a loving unity that happens like at no other times. My perspective has changed in that the world has shrunk as I realize that people have vision and joy all over the world. Not based in what they own, where they live or who they know, but based in a heavenly perspective of a God who loves us so.

One of the men that has quickly become a friend to me a man named Maina, he is the foreman of the school construction. He lives outside Nairobi but is working here where we are. We have worked together and have talked, and have found much in commen. In his very broken English we work to communicate and have found we are like souls in that we want to find better ways of doing what we do, growing through the investment of family and friends. I awoke this morning feeling some sadness as I missed my wife and kids, as Maina and I began working he told me about his wife and three kids. He got tearful as he expressed that he could not afford to go home to Nairobi to see them and has been gone for a month leading this job. He wondered if it was worth being away and expressed that he wanted so much more for his children than he has. He does not want them to live just “for their daily bread” as he put it. He wanted them to learn and grow and be free not to worry. My perspective quickly changed about the short week I have been without my family.

He lamented about some of the laborers, one that is 70 years old and has been a carpenter since he was a teenager, but has to continue to work just to eat each day. Maina is 41 years old just like me, he has kids the same age as mine. He has dreams and heartbreaks just like me. He feels sadness for those without a vision for more than survival, he feels many men here will not change and grow in order to have a different life. He told me how he has a passion to break the poverty cycle that traps people into not having a vision for something better. We talked a lot about the differences of building in the US verses here in Kenya. He told me he wants to do things better, but that the culture here does not like that kind of change. He finds it hard to lead, as others want to do things the same as they have always been done. He is a man who understands “the best is yet to come” and lives expecting to experience it.

My perspective has changed as God has introduced me to Maina, a man like myself who dreams big dreams, is thankful for his family and yet has little access to the tools I do to make a way for change to happen. What do I do in my own strength to make change? When do I rely totally on God for His change? Maina has no choice but to wait on God, he has no way of creating change other than that. I know I will come home with renewed strength to hear God and respond to His voice rather than my own. I ask for you to pray for Maina and for his family as they spend time apart while he manages the construction process of this school that will change life for so many. I ask for prayer also as God continues to change my perspective, that I would hear Him despite my own loud voice.

Little Tony

4 comments:

  1. Amazing how God put you and Maina together for just such a time as this. Not only has it changed you but it will have a profound impact on him and his family as he begins to realize and feel not only your prayers, but the prayers of your Pastor and your church. Keep watching as God continues to do the supernatural through you and the entire team. We continue to pray.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am praying for you, Tony, and now I will be praying for Maina as well. I love you!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Marnie Marie MackinJune 16, 2010 at 6:28 PM

    praying for you Tony and now Mania too!!


    Love ya always!!



    Marnie

    ReplyDelete
  4. Tony...seriously...Tony...your passion and vision inspire me. I miss you terribly and I can't wait to hear how this experience is going to change you forever! It already is...I'll be praying for Maina and also that you will hear him as he changes your perspective...I know this will annoy you but I've never known anyone more open to change of perspective than you. See you soon. Love you!

    ReplyDelete