A Note from Bren
I’m not even sure where to begin this. It’s been such a wirlwhind week.
It’s started out as a trip for the radio station…let me go to Africa again, see a different culture, learn more about kids and report back to the station. Basically a glorified vacation. And I can’t say that I didn’t enjoy getting away from it all, but it has become so much more than that. I am responsible now for what I’ve seen here.
I started out last Saturday talking about John 1:27 where it says that true religion is taking care of the widows and the orphans…sort of the “we will know we are Christians by our love” type of thing. Matthew 25 was next, the passage where it talks about how people will do all of these great things in god’s name but at the end won’t make it into heaven because while they did “good “ things, they didn’t take care of the poor or feed the hungry, or clothe those who were naked. Really touching stuff right? But seeing the faces of the kids this week has driven it home so much more. Those verses are meant for me to live by, it’s a creed. If you love me (god), feed my sheep, take care of those less fortunate. That’s what this whole Christian walk is all about. It’s not about how many church services you go to, how much scripture you know, it’s about what you’re doing for others. How are you being a blessing to your fellow man.
I’ve hugged on kids and said hi to strangers and opened up my life so much this week. But I don’t even know my next door neighbor. Why is it so easy to show and share love with someone/people on a completely different continent but can’t do it, or are too shy to do it right in my own backyard? Is it because I’m on a mission for God this week? Isn’t my whole life supposed to be about loving others?
And I have to really check myself because it could just as easily been me, my family, my wife, my son that was born into poverty. But it’s not, we’re the blessed ones, the fortunate ones. So what am I really doing to help others who are less fortunate? I looked into the faces of children who could have been my own son, held them, loved them, and felt the love that they shared with me. Wouldn’t it be a switch if the “poor” people of Swaziland and other countries came on a mission trip to America? To show us what true wealth and prosperity is…because it’s not how many cars we have, or how much extra money we have in the bank. I saw pictures the kids colored that said God loves me, I love God. Yet they’re born into extreme poverty. But they still sing God’s praises. They could come to the states and teach us about caring for one another, being a good neighbor and serving God.
Okay, off my soap box now. I don’t want to be one of those people who rail against the way things are because of a trip and then a week later goes back to business as usual. And let me tell you I’ve got business to tend to at home, from an increase in rent, to needing a new car, to taking care of a growing family who needs a father to provide for them. But I’m learning that I don’t have to have the latest minivan or stress about buying a townhouse – not that those things aren’t important, but I’ve seen what true suffering is and God can provide for us. As long as I’ve got Jesus, we’ll be okay. It’s interesting how I had to come halfway around the world to really get to know Jesus. I’ve spent more time with God on this trip than I have in the months leading up to it.
Hopefully it’s something I’ll continue to keep with me as I go back to lead my family. Hopefully I’ll be able to continue keeping up with my sponsored child Bongiswa. Who I’ve grown close to in the span of one week. All it took was one week to fall in love…at the end of the trip before we left for the last time she said “bye father”. I’m a dad of two now, my biological son, and my sweet adopted/sponsored daughter.
I am a blessed man indeed.