[Written in September 2001]
"Mzungu! Mzungu!" I heard many small voices shouting as I took my first steps down the winding dirt road toward what was to become my home for the next year, Muthyoi, Kenya. Soon, small black faces were beaming up at me from all angles, dirty small black hands were reaching for my white ones, and still more bare small black feet were running toward me. No one wanted to be the last to see the Mzungu(white person/foreigner) who had come to live with them. What is she like? How does she look? How does she feel? How does she sound? How does she smell? How does she do things? What funny things will she do differently than us? What new things will she teach us? How will she live her life among us?
|Children curious about the Mzungu who came to live with them.|
...And this is how I lived my life for one year in Kenya. I was received warmly by the Kamba people in Muthyoi and given more opportunities than I knew what to do with to share my life and message with them. I taught Math and C.R.E.(Christian Religious Education) in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade, along with some English, Science, Arts and Crafts, and Music. Wednesday afternoon we had Bible Club for 4th-8th grade where we heard Bible stories, learned verses in English, and sang praises to God in three languages. I had a number of opportunities to share from the Bible in assemblies in this and other area primary schools, high schools, and a polytechnic college. When it became known that I had graduated from Bible college, I was invited to give messages in a number of area churches. Half way through the year I began a twice monthly series through the book of Ephesians in my local church there, learning how God wanted us to grow up in Christ. Thursdays, Mary, the pastor's wife, and I walked through the hills we lived in visiting people outside their huts and mud brick homes, sharing Jesus with them, and praying for them at their point of need.
Everywhere I went, I found one thing: black faces turned my way unashamedly staring with big white eyes at the "Mzungu" to see what she did and how she lived her life. Now, I must admit, that on some days I didn't want to be different. I wanted to get out from under my mosquito net in the morning, wash myself from the small basin, put on my skirt and head scarf, sweep the bat droppings from under my table like always, drink my 'chai' made over a smoky fire, and be just like everybody else. But, you know what? Even when I lived the African way, people kept watching me. I was different from them whether I liked it or not...and they kept watching.
What about you? Are you different from the world? Are you a follower of Jesus Christ? Have you believed in Him? If you said, "Yes," then you are a part of God's family. You now represent Christ to the lost and dying world around you. The world is watching you. Everywhere you go eyes are looking at you and wondering. How will you live your life? How are you different from the lost world you live in? How has this Jesus you say you know made a difference in your life?
Maybe after seeing your life, those watching you will want to know Jesus too. For it says in the Bible:
Whoever claims to live in Him[Jesus] must walk as Jesus did. (I John 2:6)
Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 4:15-16)May God bless you as you grow to love Him more each day and together we spread the Good News to those watching through Africa, America, and all the world.