Africa Devos, LAST ONE!: Re-entry

This is Vena, wife to Wilfred Rugumba (who directs Mercy Childcare Ministries), and her younger son, Joshua. Amazingly, I just got to see them IN the U.S. last weekend!

This is Vena, wife to Wilfred Rugumba (who directs Mercy Childcare Ministries [MCM]), and her younger son, Joshua. Amazingly, I just got to see them IN the U.S. last weekend as they have been visiting churches/groups informing them about God’s work at MCM. I love this pic–they’re both as cute as can be!

You are about to re-enter the United States. This can be a difficult transition after being in Africa. Though you long to see family and friends and you want, too, some of the comforts we’re accustomed to, it’s not a simple adjustment. You will probably see “stuff” differently. We have three general temptations as we return to the States: 1. We try to forget, particularly the difficult feelings/thoughts we experienced; 2. We look down on others for not feeling as we do about Africa and providing for the poor; or 3. We feel guilty.

Katie writes about re-adjustment difficulties in chapter 7 (see page 121 in particular). You may want to re-read that chapter. Bottom line, though: you HAVE to stay close to Christ during this transition time. You have to take all your confusion and frustration and guilt to Him. He has a good work to do in you through all this. Go to Him.

Commit to praying for each other,

Commit to getting together to pray for your African brothers and sisters.

 

May God use all that we’ve experienced to help us to…

See/know Him more clearly

Love Him more dearly

And follow Him more nearly.*

Day after day.

 

*prayer by Richard, Bishop of Chichester, early 1300s

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Africa devotions, continued–finally

Sorry for the delay. We were in Wisconsin for a week at a log cabin graciously offered by a former Wheaton Academy family to WA teachers for vacation use. Wonderful place–river on one side of the property, farmland (and I LOVE farmland) on the other–and good old dial-up Internet!

It was awesome. I was able to check/send e-mails for work, but I couldn’t get the “add new post” page on my blog to load. I buried my phone deep in my unused purse (Dave had his available), and thoroughly enjoyed the lack of constant communication.

Anyway, I’m back in suburbia (hopefully it won’t offend anyone if I say “bleh”), so I’m back to posting. Africa devotions, continued:

God’s Heart for Women and Children
When the disciples wanted to keep children from approaching Jesus, He (Jesus) became indignant (a polite word for “ticked”). (Read Mark 10:13-16).
We’ve become so used to this story, we’ve forgotten how shocking Jesus’ words and actions would have been to the people of his culture, which categorized children as lesser. Even his disciples—who’d spent quite a bit of time with Him by this point—were surprised.
Children and women have suffered in every culture and every age and are still suffering today. Often this happens with the complete support of organized religion. In Christ, God was clearly saying NO! My heart is for these little ones. Through the Law of the Old Testament, God had already SAID that He cared for the least: the laws that protected widows and orphans and strangers were very different from the laws of surrounding cultures. In the person of Christ, God SHOWED He cared for both women and children, for all those denied equality by society. Christ honored them with His words, stood up for them with His anger, and demonstrated His tenderness through His touch.
Questions for thought/discussion
1.     As you’ve watched and interacted with children, what have you learned is universal about them?
2.     How has your time with children helped you to understand how God wants you to approach Him?
3.     Are there any people you treat as less than equal?