"I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you in with loving-kindness. I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt...and go out to dance with the joyful." - Jeremiah 31: 3-4

Monday, July 20, 2009

Don't take it for granted!

As the initial high of the trip begins to wear off, I find myself becoming very comfortable here in Kenya. At first, every sight and sound was a culture shock but now chickens, cows and goats running around in the street doesn't even catch my attention anymore, nor does mountains of trash all over the place due to the lack of a trash service. Riding on the back of a bicycle driven by a Kenyan man going so fast that everything to your left and right becomes a blur seems totally normal and cramming 5 girls in the back seat of van is expected. The roads here are so bad that they are honestly comical. Even the drivers laugh at the size and frequency of the pot holes as they are forced to drive off of the side of the road to get around them (Mom, Dad, Mike and Doug.. just imagine that road in Maine except 10x worse and it's not just one road, it's every road!). I have now come to realize that you must not get attached to any of the animals in the yard because they will most likely become dinner at some point. The Kenyan culture is so different from our own back in America. Women are very conservative and no men here are to be trusted unless they have proved themselves worthy. You are not to even smile at a man on the street because they take that as an offer... yeah, it's exactly what you think. It takes some getting used to but I'm really growing to appreciate some of the values that they hold. So many of these people have close to nothing compared to us. The very nicest homes here might be considered lower middle class in the States, yet they appreciate everything that they have and don't take it for granted. We could learn a lot from the people of Kenya. I see now just how spoiled America is and how much we need to learn to appreciate every day that God gives us, not just the material items that we possess. I wish that every American and citizen of a first world nation can some day experience this culture and finally realize just how lucky they are to live in such a wealthy country! Even here at the Transformed International compound, which is a very nice place compared to most other homes, we still experience the third world consequences. Just today, I was in the shower and the power went off and the water became ice cold because the heater that we have to turn on to get hot water shut down. The toilets don't flush unless you use a stick to push it down! The water isn't safe to drink so we have to boil it or use bottled water. This is a nice, expensive, higher class compound.. just imagine what the people in the villages have to go through. They don't even have showers or toilets or a stable roof over their heads. They have a tub of water, a hole in the ground and a piece of tin.

So, basically what I'm trying to say is.. stop complaining. Unless you're living on one meal of corn and beans a day and live in a house with mud walls, don't complain. God has blessed you by giving you the opportunity to be born in such a rich nation. Don't take it for granted. You don't know what it is to be poor, or hungry, or thirsty. You know what it is to be wealthy, something that a majority of these people will never experience! Don't feel guilty for what God has given you, but don't feel sorry for yourself because you don't drive a BMW or live in Beverly Hills either.

It's hard to see such joy amidst such poverty here in Kenya knowing that there is such misery amidst such wealth back in America. We need to learn how to be happy without material things! Be happy that you have a family who loves you! That you're healthy! That you can go to school! That you have nice roads to drive on! Just be happy that you live in America! Seriously, we need to stop taking it for granted.

Wow, I need to take a deep breath and calm down now ;)

Time for dinner. Meatloaf and mashed potatoes. No chicken murdering tonight! Yay!

In His Name,

1 comment:

  1. Hey Steph! I was SOOO excited to read your blog and hear all the amazing stuff that you're experiencing and that God's doing in your life while over there! I loved what you wrote in the above post about being grateful for what we have back here in the States. I could SO relate to your sentiments and feelings! When I came back from Ecuador and returned to work, I remember going into my boss's office and actually thanking him for air conditioning our office, AND i thanked him for the nice clean potties that he provides us with! I even went as far as to thank him for the toilet paper, becuase as you're probably experiencing as well...that's a rare commodity in a third world country! Know that I'm covering you in prayer in daily (and every time the Lord puts you on my heart!) and that I'm so happy for you and all the wonder & amazement of all that you're experiencing. Remember to 'stay in the day' and take each 24 hour as God's gift to you! Much love Sweetie! :-) Holly