Four years after Africa. THIS is still a paradigm truth. Now that we are in the throws of control over each other and in lands we involve ourselves with when we were not asked, we need to re-recognize our own flaws as we try to help others.
Get this first… Africans are not moping around in a perpetual pity party waiting for the Western white knights.
T.V. commercials are not completely inacurate. Kenya needs clean water, medical facilities, and ample access to education. There are standards of living all humans are truly entitled to, and Africa needs our resources and our hands to help. Then, we move out of the way! Do Not delude yourself to thinking they can’t be happy without our SOCIAL standards. They are incredibly content with what they have, who they are and the work they do.
The second day we spent in Kwambekenya was a battery of clarity and shifts. Africans do not pity themselves….. We are imperialistic spoiled brats for thinking the contrary. We are not supposed to go on mission to quantify our presence or our power over others. And yet, there is an overwhelming opinion we are doing just that. How many times we got the ‘evil eye’ when we visited Kenya… Strange. I thought we were rescuers? They have already had rescuers who do absolutely nothing. They were fed for a day, so to speak, and it made life a bit harder once the rescuers were gone.
Western culture is not the end-all-be-all. The rest of the world identifies, works, believes, loves, creates in unique and wonderful ways completely their own. Going somewhere to enforce our way is a control issue, not missional. Go to your mission with free hands and a willingness to fix the world Their way. If you have an idea, by all means let them know. Don’t go to someone elses home, take over and say ‘WE DO IT OUR WAY, BECAUSE OUR WAY IS BETTER’.
In the end, when you are heading home, you feel at peace, knowing you were an equal part of qualifying relationship. You leave them with your heart. You leave with THEIR hearts.