Friday, August 17, 2012
Quote of the Day: Our life of poverty is as necessary as the work itself. Only in heaven will we see how much we owe to the poor for helping us to love God better because of them. -- Mother Teresa
We get a television show here called "The Secret Millionaire" about millionaires in Britain who go live with the poor underclass and discover more about themselves than the people they are helping. In almost every episode, there is a rich man or woman (yes, many women on this show) who thinks he or she will be doing someone else a favor only to find out how much the poor and unemployed have to give back. No matter how much money he or she has, every millionaire on the show is richer at the end--not in money, but in understanding and growth. Many become a permanent part of the poverty picture they have seen, serving on boards and acting as patrons for the charities they have helped. We love this show because I think it reminds us of ourselves. We came here to help a struggling people yet have received far more than we have given. We can't give the huge sums they give on the television show, but to someone who is hungry even $5.00 is a true treasure. We have helped feed many hungry people (orphan children, single mothers) and others who want good things for their children and their churches. We have given out over a thousand mosquito nets, almost a thousand Bibles in Swahili, paid school fees, dug wells, built water filters, taught sanitation and hygiene, and helped build schools and churches. I don't think we have ever given more than a couple of hundred dollars to any cause, but over the years we have helped quite a few. Many Americans have come here and helped as well, and they report the same thing--that they received so much more than they gave. I think many of the mission trips did much more for those who came than those who live here. It is always better to give than to receive--I've heard that all my life, but it took moving to Africa for me to finally understand it. We owe much to the poor of Africa because they have shown us how to love God. Amen.