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)
My wife and I were driven high into the hills above the tiny Kenyan village of Matuu to visit a family. Their teenage son had just that morning been released from the hospital after a serious infection.
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 a goat to pay the hospital bill and had no money for antibiotics, pain control, or any other medication.
We sat under a shade tree while the wife prepared two serving pitchers of piping hot white tea in the kitchen. When it was confirmed we would visit, she walked several miles that morning to the market for two loaves of store-made white bread and butter to serve us.
Though the family neither spoke nor understood English, we heard of the boy’s mysterious illness, their faith in Christ and work in the local church, and ended with a song and prayer of thanks.
As we stood to leave, we realized that the family had served us tea and bread and didn’t partake themselves. They had no money to feed themselves, but had fed us while they went hungry.
It’s a false and racist idea that Africans only want Americans as cash cows. This family wanted nothing from us; they gave to us out of their poverty like the woman Jesus commended (Mark 12:44). Their only want was for us to share in their thanks to God for their son’s life.
As Americans, we’re fond of boasting how we’re “not rich.” We compare our wealth by what our friend or neighbor has; really, we ought to be comparing what we have but others don’t.
Do you have ready transportation? A warm, safe place to rest your head? Have you ever travelled outside your hometown? Do you have food in your home for more than one meal? If yes, these things make you rich and most blessed. Give thanks!