My wife and I were driven into the hills outside of the village of Matuu, Kenya, to visit and give thanks with a family. The teenage son (in the pink shirt) had just been released from the hospital after being ill.
The family lives as tenant farmers on a sparse plot of land. The small, one room home is set apart from the second building which serves as outhouse, kitchen, and barn. They sold their few chickens and goat to pay for their son’s release from the hospital bill; there was no money for antibiotics, pain control, or any other medication.
We were invited to sit under a tree while the wife prepared two serving pitchers of piping hot Kenyan white tea in the kitchen. White tea is brewed in milk rather than water and always sweetened. Our hosts had also gone to the market for two loaves of store-made white bread. This is the standard breakfast and lunch in rural Kenya. It’s also the standard fare served for special guests.
Though the family neither spoke nor understood English, we heard of the boy’s mysterious illness, the family’s faith in Christ and involvement in the local church, and ended with a song and prayers of thanksgiving. They didn’t expect anything from us, wishing only to share in their thanks to God for their son’s healing.
As we stood to leave, we discovered that the family had served us tea and bread but didn’t have money to feed themselves. They had literally fed us while going hungry themselves.
Many of us in the US and the west are fond of boasting that we’re “not rich.” We compare our wealth by what others around us have; really, we ought to be comparing what we possess with what others don’t have.
Do you have ready transportation? You are wealthy.
Have you ever travelled outside of your hometown? You are wealthy.
Do you have food enough in your home for more than one meal? You are wealthy.
God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, have an abundance for every good work. As it is written, he has dispersed abroad, he has given to the poor; his righteousness remains forever (2 Corinthians 9:8-9).
If you’d like to do “good work” helping poor Christians in Kenya, please contact me.