Sunday, July 27, 2008

Beauty and Danger

This image encapsulates east Africa.

Africa has a beauty that is not found anywhere else - in the scenery, the animals, and most of all, in the people. But there is also danger - as depicted by the broken glass and razor wire on top of the wall of the compound where we stayed in Luanshya, Zambia. The compound walls are necessary to protect possessions from thefts. The mosquitoes carry malaria. The water is unsafe to drink. We are careful what we eat. The beauty and variety of wild animals must not be mistaken for safety.

As foreigners, we are not accustomed to the differences in food, safety, and customs; but we remain vigilant to enjoy the culture, the landscape, and try not to offend our hosts. They know something about living life in this precarious balance between life and death.... beauty and devastation.... hospitality and caution.... physical need and joy in the present.... gratitude for what is received and generosity in what is given.... praise, worship and crying out to God in desperation.
We go as teachers.... we have a lot to learn from them.