By: Robert Thomas
I think my favorite aspect of Malawian culture is how simple everything is. Were I to go and share the Gospel in Albuquerque, say on the campus of the university for example, I would be worried about holding people’s attention, and afraid that I’m either bothering someone or that they’ll leave because they’re busy. It wasn’t like that in Malawi; people were continually willing to stop what they were doing and listen to the Gospel.
Out in the African countryside, the villages are distraction-minimal. (I’ll qualify that only by saying I was preoccupied by all the animals such as goats and roosters walking around, but they were distracting only to us, the foreigners.) In America, the culture we live in shouts for our attention. A simple drive across town while listening to the radio features several companies using visual and audio advertisements to lure us in. To live here is to be surrounded by a flurry of lights, images, and sounds, all calling you to spend vital pieces of your life on them.
If America is a cacophony, Malawi felt more like darkness. The people are influenced by ancestor worship and small divisions of other religions, but all those do is contribute to the feeling of darkness. There is so, so much need in Malawi, and this need can be met by simple people who have taken the time to travel halfway across the world, far from their homes, to share about the Light of the World, and what He’s done in their lives. The people there are receptive to this. They want for clean water, enough food, and a livable wage. They also want to be taught about God, and they want bibles, but more than anything, their souls are thirsty for, and ready for, the Living Water Jesus provides.
In this case, it doesn’t take a career missionary, or one trained by a seminary. As a 22 year old college graduate with a history of shyness, a healthy dose of introversion, and a degree in film, I would never have picked myself out to be one who could go and share my faith in a foreign country. But I do know this without a doubt: God wanted me to go to Malawi, and to ignore that mission would have been objectively wrong. I’ve learned not to count myself out of something I feel unqualified for, because my God is enough to fill my inadequacy.
My question is this: since there is so much need in this world, and Christians are ones who can meet these needs, where is God sending YOU?
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