What is ther RESPONSIBILITY of a follower of Jesus Christ in a world which is racked by sin, corruption, suffering, and poverty?
Where does our responsibilty start and stop to "Love the Lord our God with all your heart, soul and mind", and to "Love our neighbor as ourselves"?
Honestly, I'm struggling a little bit to figure that out today.
Today we had the last 1/2 day of the Pastor's Leadership Conference and it was GREAT! The speakers were very good, and the worship...well, it was FREE and total!
The people were, as always, gracious and thankful...I tried to tell them that THEY were the blessing, and that WE were humbled to be there...I guess it was mutual.
One really neat thing about the conference...Pastor Solomon had set up "Armor Bearers" for us--personal assistants that carried our bags, got us water, and helped us in every way...VERY neat people, and after only 1 1/2 days, we developed a real bond with them. I really enjoyed all of them...Richard and Johnathan especially....anyway, at the end of the conference, we wanted a way to show them honor and appreciation, so one of our Pastors' came up with the idea of washing their feet--like Jesus did with His disciples. I had never done that before, but I found that to be one of the most beautiful, meaningful things I've ever done! It was very powerful, for us all. (Pastor Solomon joked by asking "When was the last time you saw a white American wash a black Ugandan's feet!" I thought it was hilarious!)
After the conference and lunch, we went to visit a typical rural village...VERY poor. Many families have 2, 3, and even 4 families (or what's left of them) living together. Parents have died (from Malaria, AIDS, or accidents), and other family members take them in. Only problem: How does a poor family of 4 fit in another 4 or 6 kids and still survive?
Not very well, apparently.
We learned all about the living conditions, the sweet potatoe and banana planting and harvesting they must do to survive. One family owns a cow...they used to get 7 quarts of milk a day, selling 6 and splitting one among their 4 children and relatives' 4 also. Now they only get 3 quarts a day, and they sell it all because they need the money more than the milk!
This is a woman who's a Christ follower, and both she and her husband serve in the church!
So...I ask again: Where does our responsibility lie?
Our team has been trying to process this, and we know that we don't have to sell everything and move to Uganda...but what SHOULD we do? How SHOULD those of us who "Love God with all our hearts, souls, and minds" and "Love our neighbor as ourselves" respond to this...in Uganda, and in America?
Chew on that for awhile.
I know I will!