Sunday, January 10, 2010

Getting (un) comfortable

Living in Zambia now for almost two years, you get kind of used to stuff.  Things that just turned my head when I got here hardly get a second glance anymore. I guess that is good in some senses, that you can get used to living in a place and absorb all that you see on a regular basis without just being crushed day after day.  But, it can be bad as well, as you can become comfortable in your own little world and forget the hardship that people here deal with daily, hourly, minutely.  Yesterday was just another normal Saturday and yet God woke me from my slumber with some gentle reminders that all is not well in  Zambia. They came in the form of people coming to our gate and me going out the gate. There  were two boys who have been coming to our house to climb up our tree to get some fruit to sell or eat.  They get $1 dollar for a huge bag. They usually get a couple of bags.  Then another young man came by. He spoke great English, just graduated from high school and looking for a job to pay for a college form. He needed 250,000 (50 dollars) to apply for college.  He wanted some piece work.  And then I took my worker to get some rocks for our yard.  Our yard gets really muddy with all the rain. As I was driving there, I was thinking to myself, the money I am buying for these rocks would really help him buy food. I wonder what he is thinking when I spend money to buy rocks and he and his wife can’t pay rent or get food.  (He is back with us  temporarily to help pay for a debt he owed.)  We went to a local compound and I just watched these men do hard labor to make nothing. I paid money for rocks.   I got some rocks, feeling guilty, headed home and listened to Lungu’s story a bit.  He has made a remarkable spiritual transformation, but life is just hard.   And just time after time, something I saw or experienced just crushed me. The last thing of the day,  I took him home because it was raining so hard. I hadn’t been there yet. It was pouring rain, dirt road, big puddles, poor area, a tiny house, and well, just heartbreaking. I went into meet his wife.   I am humbled. Thankful. Guilt-ridden.  Wanting to escape and yet knowing that this is what I need.  It is good to experience.  (I will be helping Lungu on Monday and try to find him a job or something…)  Anyway, just wanted to share.  I need to feel this more often, all part of walking in others shoes, doing unto them what I would want them to do for me…



Steve Allen

Action Zambia


“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen." Revelation 7:12


1 comment:

J and J McDowell said...

I love this Steve... So easily things have gone back to "normal" for us as well after being in Africa. I find myself feeling guilty buying things all the time and still do it. Love your heart.