The best part about being here is that all 7 of us are together. Last night we streamed a movie and watched it. For free. Or for $1. I don't remember.
"Streaming" just doesn't happen in Rwanda - due to slow internet speeds. What a treat!
More things happen for free here than I remember!
Yesterday morning, I took Destin to a "back to school bash" event that our local Salvation Army Kroc center was putting on for the community for free. There were bouncy houses, hot dogs, water, chips and popcorn, face painting and many school supplies - all free.
From these pictures, you can see that Destin had a ball.
In the afternoon, our whole family got to catch up with our dear family friend, Dana. What fun to just slide back into laughing and joking together as if no time had passed.
Later, I took Stephen and Ruthie dorm shopping. The amount of choices - even for toilet bowl cleaners - is still a bit hard for me to comprehend. This country has so much more than most of us realize on a daily basis. As I feel overwhelmed and yes, a little guilty sometimes by it all, I keep remembering the (paraphrased) words of Jesus: "To whom much is given, much is required". Were we blessed so we can have all this stuff and enjoy life on easy street? Is that what Jesus's "abundant life" he mentions in John 10:10 is all about? I don't think so.
I believe the greatest challenge on earth, spiritually, is to be rich, and/or to live in such a rich country. It takes away the awareness that we need our God. Richness deadens us to awareness of the needs of the less rich. And, keeping track of so much stuff takes so much time, it is hard to have time for others.
So, should we pretend to not be so filthy rich as a nation? That would just be silly. No, we should accept it, thank God for His blessings, and then find ways, with God's help, to pass His blessings on to others.
To me, "much is required" sounds a lot like the old movie, "Pay it Forward", or the old phrase, "Blessed to be a blessing".
Share your bounty with others. Seek out someone for whom you can be the hands and feet of Jesus today. Ask God to show you with whom he'd like you to share. There are plenty of people needing a hand right here. You don't have to go to Africa to share the love God has given you.
We live in such a blessed country for a reason. God entrusted this to us. He believed in us, trusted us to make good use of His gifts and pass them on to His other children.
Dear God, thank You for letting us be Americans. We did nothing to be born here. It was nothing we did. We aren't rich (and if you're American, you ARE rich) because we are smarter or harder working than the rest of the world. You just chose that for us. Please help us to not horde Your blessings, but to share with others who have so much less, and to hope they will share some of the things they have: overflowing joy, deep, abiding faith and the gift of understanding utter dependence on YOU, with us in return. Amen.