Tuesday, December 10, 2013

“I don't think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.” ― Anne Frank

"Often, as we are surrounded here by overwhelming poverty, disease, and death, we feel as if we are doing nothing to help."  This is what I wrote yesterday to begin the blog in which I wondered if the blog even meant anything to anybody.  Someone commented on that blog with the following ". . .you challenged me many years ago - saying that we should be about being Christ to the world.  Your life and writings are an inspiration to myself and many others.  We live and serve in Africa because you, our brother in Christ, along with Jesus' Spirit - are there."  Needless to say, I was humbled and reminded that all Christ asked of us was to be obedient, available and to love each other as He had loved us.  Talking this over with my wife and son, we all realized that we were not working on a specific project with goals and measurable objectives, but were rather about simply living lives that became the Gospel and doing what we could with what we had.  The quote by Anne Frank from her days hiding from the Nazis is remarkably apt here.  There is beauty all around us.  The smile on the face of the father of the two boys doing so well at school, the smiles of the children when they got their new shoes, the laughter of the kids as they show up at school an hour early because they are so excited to be going to school--these are the measures of how we are doing.  Christianity is flourishing here, more so than anywhere else in the world, primarily because it brings the one thing that without which life is meaningless--it brings hope.  The children aren't the only ones whose smiles beautify this dark place, adults too, who know that Christ loved them so much He died for them.  Christmas here is celebrated in the church without gift giving.  It is celebrated with praise and hope, not for life here, but for life eternal in the heavens with a forgiving and loving God.  So, we join the children in the picture at the right, thumbs up for all those who love others and bring beauty and light into a dark and dirty world.  We can do that.  We are doing that.  We will do that until we, too, join the saints of light.

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