Saturday, March 7, 2009

A Bag of Beans

Living in Africa with small children presents daily tangible opportunities to help Amelia & Meredith learn the joys and sometimes challenges of being generous.  
     In January of 2008 Kenya had a presidential election.  The results of the election were disputed by the country.  Consequently political chaos occurred, tribes fought other tribes, people were displaced, and crops were damaged.  Now one year later we are seeing the sad consequences of the election in combination with a drought..people are hungry.  
      When churches collect offering in this area of Kenya the plate fills with not just coins and paper money but also potatoes, maize, or a liter of milk.   These goods go to the needy people in the area.  What first seemed confusing to Amelia--now is straightforward.  People at church give food to those in need.  
      Last Sunday as many parents do at church, I gave Amelia and Meredith Kenyan coins to place in the offering.  Meredith dropped her two coins in the plate.  Amelia with cupped hand struggled to drop all three coins in the plate, (to put it diplomatically).   Amelia is not alone.  
        Is says in Deuteronomy, "If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the lands... do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother.  Rather be openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs."
       For myself generosity is unnatural, difficult, and sometimes regretful.  Isn't it money we have earned?  Should not he or she get a job.  Now is not the time for generosity with the state of the economy. 
     The very next week, Amelia came running to us with a smile or her face, "Mom, Dad there is a boy next door.  He can't speak or hear and he is hungry and has nothing to eat.  Can I give him the bag of beans we have for the hungry?"   Yes indeed Amelia.  Please give!  



Anonymous said...

Thank you for continuing to write about daily chapters in your lives in Tenwek. As Charolene Neilson said, it is like a chapter a week in a wonderful missionary story. Being generous is something that we can all take to heart in the economy today. We see it right in downtown Bend across from the church. You are touching lives. See you thursday. Grammie

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Grammie,

What a timely post Sara. What I most look forward to in this downturned economy is more creative giving and meeting needs that might otherwise be overlooked. What a great Kenyan example.

Continue to love and serve,
Bend, OR

Megan N said...

I always enjoy your posts on life in Africa, especially such a timely one on giving to those in need.

Anonymous said...

Don't you wish you could also have donated a solar powered hearing aid? On most of my trips to the field, I have always felt we were least prepared to offer hearing aid amplification. I doubt an opthalmologist would go anyplace without a supply of spectacles to refine any surgery. Chris

Anonymous said...

I do love being part of this family, if I may be so bold.

Grammie and Chris and Megan - I love your posts too.

Maybe we can have at least one post from Grammie during her visit.

Luv to ya,
Bend, OR