Thursday, October 5, 2017

“Don't despise those little things you can do well; they contain tiny miracles that can amaze you and you will change the world. Be a world changer in your own way! We look up to you!” ― Israelmore Ayivor


                           The last couple of weeks have been pretty bad for me.  No good things happened, and aches and pains and many daily disappointments did happen.  Didn’t get emails I hoped for, didn’t get gifts folks told me they were bringing me, expected packages didn’t arrive, and so many little things went wrong that I decided to throw myself a powerful pity party—I mean, I was down.  However, there is a problem with pity parties—sometimes you get uninvited guests that destroy the whole downer mood of the thing.  I was deeply immersed in a grand pity party of my own yesterday morning, believing that I was doing nothing to help others and just focusing solely on myself and my ailments and my disappointments when I was interrupted by the laughter of several small children—orphans that attend our preschool here.  The damn birds were singing their little hearts out, too.  The three and four-year-old orphans were having a grand time, shouting out the English they have learned, feeling loved, fed, and important on that very day when I was being so down.  It reminded me that our preschool is in its seventh year and that we have fed and educated well over 250 orphans right here on our grounds—and we continue to do so.  We also have English classes in the afternoon and feed those kids, too.  The English classes are into their eleventh year with almost 200 graduates who have all passed their English tests to get into secondary school.  Just because I am sitting around feeling sorry for myself because of all my health problems and disappointments, it doesn’t mean that the work we have done and are continuing to do counts for nothing.  Over 10,000 people have clean, safe drinking water thanks to the over 500 biosand filters we have made and placed.  Okay, so that only works out to about one a week—still, lots of people have nothing to fear from cholera or dysentery because of what’s been done here at Maisha Na Maji.  Yes, growth in the church has slowed down, but we have still grown from about 400 members to over 4,000 in ten years and are still adding about two churches a year.  The 500 people I have personally baptized are still active Christians even if I never see them any more.  The three scholarship students currently in the Teacher’s College will graduate in two years and bring the total to over 70 Christian teachers that were too poor to pay for their education who are themselves teaching and touching hundreds, perhaps thousands of other students.  That’s a good thing that is continuing without needing my daily, weekly, or even monthly involvement, but it is a very good thing.  There are at least three villages that have access to well water whose folks used to have to walk almost ten kilometers every day to get water, and now, it is less than one kilometer from each of those three villages.  We never see those wells or those people pumping water but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.  There are now seven preschools with Montessori method trained teachers that Karen has trained right here at Maisha Na Maji.  I didn't do any of the training, but if I hadn't been here, Karen wouldn’t have been here either—so, in a way, that’s another good thing that’s happened because I was here, doing nothing.  
                          Our workers, too, wouldn’t be part of the middle class with their children going to school and families eating well without our support.  I don’t know about you, but I tend to discount or dismiss any good things I have done if I am not having to sweat and work to do them on a daily basis.  Happily, God doesn’t keep track of how we follow Him with a stopwatch nor is He too concerned with numbers.  God is much more concerned with where our hearts are in relation to helping others rather than with our business plans on how to accomplish His goals.  I shudder to think of how what I am doing would look in the hands of someone preparing pie charts and tables, but since the only one I really have to please is God, and since He is the only judge that counts, I guess I’ll be all right with my lack of daily effort.  When you add up all we’ve done over the years and what we are still doing, I think it’s more than enough.  I envy civil engineers who can step back and look at the bridge or giant dam they built and think, “I built that.”  All I can do is offer myself and my heart to God and hope that He uses my offering in the best way possible.  So, maybe I have made my peace (with the help of three-year-olds) and ended my pity party.  Maybe you should too—if you’re inclined to be really critical of how little you think you’re doing.  God’s hands are the ones to be in, eh?
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