Africa vs. the USA?

>> April 13, 2011

LaRae and her husband are missionaries in a Muslim country in West Africa, where they are developing a public health clinic to serve the medical needs of the people in their village. They live with occasional electricity and running water, and have a son who is 3 years old.

Reasons I’m thankful I live in Africa:
  1. I’m reminded to take time for relationships on a daily basis
  2. Life has that “back to the basics” feel
  3. My worldview is constantly challenged and broadened
  4. Going home for visits is so much sweeter
  5. I'm actually getting to know the people where I shop, they're not just another face at the store
  6. My son gets to learn that there is more to life than toys
  7. I see a million things to be thankful for that usually I take for granted, such as:
    1. Oatmeal
    2. Brown rice
    3. Whole wheat flour
    4. Raisins without worms
    5. Jam
    6. Outlets that work
    7. Fans
    8. Running water
    9. Internet
    10. Health
    11. Balls in the States that don’t go flat the same day you buy them
    12. A healthy baby
    13. Justice
  8. Death is a part of life, so when its time for someone to go, the people here let go and don’t try to hang on for hours/days/months/years.
  9. Fruits and veggies are family grown and taste so much better
  10. The opportunity to see how the 10 commandments really do keep us happier. There is no hope for a people who do not abide by God's basic moral principles.

Reasons I wish I lived in a developed country:
  1. Sugar is clean (and bug-free) when I buy it
  2. Beans are more or less bug-free when I buy them
  3. The salt is actually salty
  4. There are relatively few insects in the house
  5. I can just up and go to the store or a friend’s house with out much prior planning
  6. I can expect good internet and phone service
  7. No one is going to scam me on the price of veggies (or anything else) just because my skin is a different color
  8. I can find pretty much anything I want or need without much trouble or too much money
  9. Health care is accessible (I suppose this is debatable depending on the country)
  10. There are many spiritual resources in my language
As I look back over my two lists I notice a striking trend. The first list is teaching me a lot about life and giving, and less about receiving. The second list is more about what I want to get.


Maybe this is why I’m in Africa. I have a lot to learn.

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