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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Kisses from Katie devotionals

DSC_0028Before we went on the trip to Africa, Dave asked if I would write devotionals for the team to use while on the trip. We had asked the girls to read Kisses from Katie, a wonderful book about a girl from the suburbs who went to Uganda after she graduated high school and who now, in her early mid-twenties, has adopted 13 Ugandan girls and lives there full-time. I used Scripture and Kisses from Katie and wrote short devotionals that, I hoped, would cover at least some of the issues and opportunities for growth we would encounter in Africa.

Well, I think doing the devotions IN Africa was fine, but, for me, they seem more necessary back here in the U.S. As always after I return from being in Africa, I feel like I’m stuck in no-man’s land, wondering… well, lots of things.

I don’t know if these will be helpful for anyone besides me, but over the next few days, I’ll be posting the devotions, which I’ve adapted to fit a broader audience. Some are pretty short, but all have discussion/for-thought questions.

 

Everybody Act Medium

Pastor Chuck Swindoll once told a story about some kids who built a clubhouse. They put a sign on the outside that read, “Nobody act big; nobody act small; everybody act medium.”

Those kids knew that harmony and fellowship aren’t possible when people think they’re bigger than others OR when people believe they’re lesser.

But when people view themselves—and everyone else—as “mediums,” equals, there can be fellowship.

Looking from God’s point of view helps us to understand ourselves as “mediums.” Though WE see our human distinctions of wealth, class, education, strength, and beauty as really important, God doesn’t. We all “rate/rank” the same with Him.

Questions:

  1. Read Philippians 2. Paul takes the idea of “medium” to another level. He says to think of others as “better than ourselves.” What does this look like when we’re working/living alongside people from different cultures/backgrounds?
  2. How do we look for similarities rather than differences?
  3. One generality about the American mindset is that we consider ourselves the heroes. This is a particular temptation when we are entering into situations with people poorer than we are. How can Philippians 2 help us to relate correctly to people in these situations?
  4. What are some ways we see Katie doing this in the book? What can we learn from her example? (page 7 “…saw myself in those little faces”  and page 12 “This is the place where…”)