Monday, November 24, 2008

I need Africa more than Africa needs me

I was asked by Mocha Club to write about the concept of why ‘I need Africa more than Africa needs me.’ Mocha Club is a community-based website where members can start a team and invite friends to join them in giving $7 a month – the cost of 2 mochas – to support a project in Africa. Mocha Club's vision is to provide a way for people who don't have hundreds or thousands of dollars to make a difference in Africa.

When I think about that statement, it's a little difficult at first. I'm an American. I'm a guy. I have a job and a place to live and really everything else I need...right? Well, as I think about it more, I realize I'm still lacking something. I'm lacking people around me that are different enough from me to help me get outside of myself. I live in the north Atlanta suburbs and nearly everyone I am surrounded by is pretty much just like me. We're mostly all white. We all rank among the wealthiest 5% of the world. We all have been influenced by the consumeristic, individualistic, and materialistic mindset of 21st century America. We are taught to be self-sustaining. But...

I need Africa more than Africa needs me because I need to see the world as God really created it. He created it in diversity, and He desires unity in that diversity. The people and culture of Africa are vitally important for helping us realize that the kingdom of God is not just about a people and a culture just like us. God made every person on this planet in His image and we need Africa to see more of who God really is.

There are huge atrocities going on in Africa. Children are being taken captive and used as soldiers, water availability and purity is a huge problem, AIDS continues to sweep across the continent; these just to name a few. And God intends for us not to just pity them, but to partner with them in bringing His kingdom here on earth, as it is in heaven.

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section or even blog about it yourself. Join in the worthwhile cause of recasting the damaging images that force pity over partnership. Come back Dec 1st to see what Mocha Club is doing about reforming that image.

6 comments:

  1. I think the word is perspective. You are right...we are the rich and often the blind as well, and we need the people of Africa (and other people groups throughout the world) to see a more full picture of God's Church, His attributes, and His plan of redemption. I am in my third month of a year stint serving in the township of Mamelodi, South Africa, and while the needs of the people here and even more so in Zimbabwe are great, I am more overwhelmed with my spiritual poverty. Ephesians 6:12 "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood..." This is what my friends in Africa are teaching me.

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  2. This is amazing! I was thinking about blogging about the same thing (child soldiers) after watching 24: Redemption last night. As a father of a 13-month old, I can't imagine having my child taken away from me to fight these conflicts. It's a tragedy.

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  3. Will
    Thanks for sharing. I fully agree. By the way, I checked out your blog. It's cool to see some of the things you're getting to be a part of. And you've got a really cool story leading up to where you are!

    Mike
    Yeah, I only got to watch 1/2 of it last night. Hopefully I can finish the rest tonight. It really is heart-breaking.

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  4. thanks for blogging, david! great job.

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  5. Roy and Marisa
    Thanks for the encouragement

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