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My experience thus far in Kenya (Nairobi, Kijabe, and Mukaa) has been sort of overwhelming. 

This is my fourth time to Africa, but I’m finding that it is the toughest to process so far in terms of “culture shock”.  Not because it’s so different, but rather because of the ways in which it is so similar to Western culture.  Of course there are contrasts- the poor and rural life & the slums… which contrast starkly with the 24-hour shopping malls and coffeehouses which would cause one to think that they had been transported back to North America while they were sleeping.  I am staying at an AIM guesthouse, which is all quite Western (yesterday it was pizza for supper and ice cream for dessert – made all from scratch by Kenyans to suit the multitude of Wazungu).  Today when we were in Mukaa, it was the first time on this trip that I got to have a “real” East African meal! It was really good- I found that I missed it! I came to Africa but had not yet really felt like I was in Africa! Nyama, wali, viazi, ndizi, na chapati… mmm!

A slight change in subject… I’ve been thinking alot lately about the (sometimes) seemingly elusive “will of God for my life”.  How does one KNOW God’s will for them? How do you know you are correct in what you THINK is God’s will for you? What if you are deceived? What if you don’t choose the right path, what if.. what if.. etc.  Well much to my angst these questions have been rolling about in my mind for quite a few years now, and it was only just last night that I was really able to fully realize them and vocalize them.  I was talking with Sam and Bonnie, and they offered alot of wisdom (I absolutely love them.. they are amazing).  Anyway- the good news is that I’ve come to a place of contentment in these things, after many years of vague confusion.  The 2 verses that really stand out in my mind that Bonnie reminded me of are these…

“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart”.  That is not to say that you will get whatever desire (fleshly/worldly or otherwise) you want, but rather it seems to be more of a reciprocity in which your desires are already aligned with God’s will for you because when you are delighting yourself in Him, you are becoming more like Christ, and less like the world.  He gives you the desires of your heart not BECAUSE you are delighting yourself in Him, but THROUGH your very act of delighting yourself in Him.  Delighting one’s self in the Lord is the desire of a righteous (through Christ) heart.  That is all to say that if I am *honestly* delighting myself in Him, and I seek to use wisdom in my decisions, then I can ask myself what the desires of my heart really are, which will guide me to discover God’s will for me.  What am I passionate about? What am I uniquely gifted for?

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways ackowledge Him, and He will direct your paths”.  Another good one.. I learned this one by heart in Pioneer Clubs as a kid.  Always a good verse to remember, always easy to forget.  Read it again, and again, and again, until it sinks in!

Anway- it’s late here (we’re 8 hours ahead of Toronto time) and it’s time for bed. Good night!

In lurking on other peoples’ blogs, I came across a fascinating discussion.

I find it interesting that the advice columnist identified himself as “non-religious”, and yet seemed to offer much insight into the writer’s dilemma, even seeming to “get it” much more than many Western Christians today. A blogger has commented on it here, and the commentary and discussion are quite interesting.I have struggled with this issue for several years now. I don’t know anyone (besides my husband) who is willing to engage in this sort of discussion. I am glad to find this blog and some people who are at least willing to raise the questions, not fearing the possibly uncomfortable response.

It is in fact an uncomfortable discussion for most of us middle-upper class Christians. I ask these questions with as much criticism of my own lifestyle as of anyone else’s, and desire to find a satisfactory answer for my own conscience before inspecting the speck in everyone else’s eyes. I live a fairly comfortable life. I can’t afford to buy a house, but I can afford to rent. I never go hungry, or have to wear clothes with holes in them. Though it would not be the most financially wise decision in terms of trying to save for school, etc, I can afford to go out for dinner or a movie pretty much whenever I feel like it. I could go to IKEA and spend $30 here and there, without landing myself on the street next month, without money for rent. I have access to credit cards and bank loans in case of emergency, and am never lacking the basic necessities of life (water, food, shelter, medical care).

Here is my question: Is it right/moral that I should live with excess (going to movies, eating dinner out regularly, buying “wants” in addition to “needs”, etc) when so much of the world is living and dying of starvation, preventable diseases, etc? And only because they lack money. Money that I spend carelessly on myself, which could instead be saving lives. The Bible commands us to help the poor, seek justice, and love one another as ourselves throughout the scriptures. Clearly we have some sort of moral obligation. I just don’t know where to draw the line. Do I have to stop spending on everything except the basic necessities, and give the rest to the poor (become Mother Teresa)? Are we all supposed to live like Jesus? Or Mother Teresa? I haven’t ever met a Christian who would say yes to that question. And yet none of them can tell me why not.

I’m seriously needing some answers here.

I'm Red, he's Honey. I'm the writer of this blog and the source of your entertainment and/or boredom. We're parents of an exceptionally adorable child, and we have no idea what we're doing! This blog is the outlet for my thoughts along the way - welcome! Pull up a couch, grab a cup of tea, and stay a while! Or back away slowly. Whatever works.




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