I couldn’t help but notice the surroundings. No running water. No indoor plumbing. No electricity. The sky could be seen through small holes in the tin roof. I encouraged those special students to pursue excellence and finish their education.
What did I bring back Out of Africa?
I am always thankful for America each time I return from overseas. I was even more thankful upon returning from Africa for the basic things we enjoy and take for granted. Things like using tap water instead of bottled water to brush my teeth, having hot water instead of cold to shave and shower with, having our own vehicles with the ability to drive anywhere we would choose to go, having electricity and all the benefits and appliances which go with it, having homes with closeable windows and floors made of materials other than clay or mud, having plenty of food and grocery stores to buy more. I’m thankful for being able to spend nights in hotels without armed guards in a compound-like setting. I’m thankful for houses of worship where we have actual buildings with carpet, padded seats or pews, central heat and air, indoor plumbing, electricity complete with lights so activities can also take place after sunset, rather than tents which have none of these.
I also brought back from Africa a great appreciation for the African people. They are industrious, happy and joyful people. The African Christians have a great love for Christ and their religion. Although they live on very meager resources, they sacrificially give to help the needs of others. They are gifted people who are excellent craftsmen and talented musicians and singers.
I’ve accepted an invitation to return to Africa again this fall for a second time. I’ll be speaking at a citywide crusade along with training hundreds of church leaders during three days of pastors’ conference sessions. I may be physically Out of Africa now, but a part of me will always be with the African people.
I’m reminded of the scriptures’ admonition; to whom much is given much will be required. We have been given much in America. We really cannot appreciate how much until we visit those who have so much less. With this great gift comes great responsibility.
Out of America has always flowed generosity to help the world. I feel fortunate and so blessed to be an American. I know you probably feel the same. If you have any doubt, just talk to someone fresh Out of Africa.