Monday, October 11, 2010

Lessons from the Swazis, Part 2

So we got a bag of completely rotten potatoes. It wasn’t just one or two rotten ones that we could have thrown out—the whole bag was a stinky, slimy mess. Feeling rather virtuous, we put the bag outside to throw into our compost pile and thus at least not just throw them out. An hour or so later, our neighbor came and hesitantly asked if he could dig through the bag to see if there was anything left he could eat. Of course we said yes, and watched dumbfounded as he and another neighbor gleefully hacked away and saved a half potato here, a quarter of a potato here. We were ashamed of our own waste and humbled by their example of good stewardship.

I taught a women’s Bible study in a community of dilapidated mud huts, filth, and unbelievable poverty and despair and disease. The women were warm and welcoming and I was blessed to be in their presence. It is pure joy to share with Word of God with those who cannot even read or write, but are so eager to learn more about Jesus. When we were through, and I was feeling quite full of myself and what a sacrificial servant I was to be in that place full of hopelessness, sharing Christ with them, God quickly showed me the error of my ways. Some of the women, who can’t even afford milk or meat or medical care or a roof over their heads, insisted on giving me gifts from their garden—fresh tomatoes, potatoes, onions, and corn. My gift was so small in comparison to theirs—they gave so much more. It brought tears to my eyes—I felt like a Pharisee in the presence of the widow who gave her only coin. Thank you Lord for my Swazi sisters and their generosity, and your grace in showing me my pride and loving me just the same!

We continue to learn from the Swazis….

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