In our home they have avocados falling from the trees like rain drops. The owners use those for meals–some are “borrowed” by the neighbors, but also the trees produce so many that they then sell the rest to a company in Kampala that uses it for cosmetics.
The things you read or see and hear about in Africa are real. The physical need here really is great. (Not for huge houses, electric stoves, or even cars.) But for clean water and better medical clinics and stimulus of the economy. With this lack comes an observable pain and brokenness. (It is not that people are discontent–because amazingly many many are quite content and full of joy. Their happiness is not based on material items.) But there is suffering due to illnesses and lack of resources to care for those who are sick or dying. There is lack that leads to little or no education, and this perpetuates a cycle of poverty and for some that means no food on the table. The landscape of our pain in the US looks so very different but our threads weave similar stories. We are broken in America too, our need is great. There is still illness, broken relationships, and heartache. There is a significant spiritual depravity in our country. But those needs are often masked by prosperity and temporary comfort, by college football games and trips to the movies. By haircuts, pedicures, new outfits, vacations, or fill in the blank for your own personal “treat” that helps to take the sting of pain away. In Africa things are far more raw and real and pain is more on the surface. Needs are more obvious. There is a helplessness that I feel concerning the physical needs–but in the end, there are real world problems all over the world that money alone cannot fix.