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I need the poor more than the poor need me.

March 22, 2011

Girls in Kigali, Rwanda

Let that ruminate in your mind today. I like to pair that statement with “and we both need Jesus.”

This phrase came from The Mocha Club whose tagline is “I need Africa more than Africa needs me.” They tell the story of how this phrase was born:

I’m not saying that Africa does not need our efforts. It absolutely does need our partnership. But for me, I’ve come to understand that I NEED AFRICA MORE THAN AFRICA NEEDS ME. Why? Because it is Africa that has taught me that possessions in my hands will never be as valuable as peace in my heart. I’ve learned that I don’t need what I have and that I have what I need. These are just a few of this continent’s many lessons. I came here to serve and yet I’ve found that I have so much to learn, and Africa, with all its need, has much to teach me.

Now, I don’t want to limit this lesson to Africa- living with, eating with, talking with, loving and being loved by the poor can happen in any place, and is a life we can choose anywhere- not just in Africa. I do think, however, that we fall very quickly into thinking that Africa specifically is a place of great need (which is true) and not much else (which is untrue) and by recognizing how much Africa has blessed us (for those who have been there and those who have been connected to that continent in other ways) we realize that Africa has more than need. It has more that potential. It IS, RIGHT NOW, a place of blessing and pouring out into others. We need Africa!

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