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It’s no secret that I love Africa.
I’ve served as a missionary there in Kenya twice. I’m heavily involved in a few ministries that support micro-business in Africa. I sponsor a child in Kenya. I’m working with our church on the launch of a campus in Nairobi, Kenya! And heck, we did an entire African-themed nursery for our baby.
Well, I wore this outfit a few weeks ago, and it was by total accident that I put each piece of this outfit together. It was not a conscious decision, really.
And suddenly, I looked in the mirror and realized I was like a walking advertisement for fair trade and Africa. Or something.
Anyway. I love this shirt. I realize it’s not “high fashion” or “trendy” or whathaveyou. But it’s me. And it says something that I’m super passionate about. And it’s a conversation starter.
Because, inevitably, people are going to ask me, “Why do YOU need Africa more than Africa needs you?”
And the answer is that Africa has much more to teach us than we realize. Africa doesn’t need our pity and our charity. Africa needs our love and our friendship… but more importantly, WE need the gifts that Africa can give us. We need the lessons that Africa can teach us.
Going to Kenya taught me so much. I came back from Kenya that first time completely changed. My entire worldview shifted.
Kenya taught me that love in our heart is more important than the love of things. Friendship is more important than possessions. Family is more important than wealth. A warm meal is more important than the latest pair of shoes. A good, healthy, hearty belly laugh is more important than the latest Beyonce album. Time spent alone with God is more important than any bonus at work.
I could go on.
It’s times like now, just coming off the Christmas and holiday season – a season that has often turned so materialistic and so “stuff” oriented, that I have to remind myself what’s important. I have to shift my focus. I have to recenter myself and my priorities.
And, as crazy as it sounds, something as simple as this t-shirt does that.
Does that make me a weird person? Maybe. But I’ve always been kinda weird, so I’m not really looking to change anytime soon.
What about you? What things do you need to refocus on this year?
“…being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” -Philippians 1:6