Someone asked me what I hoped to accomplish on a trip like this to Kenya.
“I used to share our needs and then people would meet them. We would raise a lot of needed money. These trips kept us going in the early years,” I responded. “Now I kiss new babies, hug teen moms, encourage staff and we do a lot of product creation to keep providing dignified jobs.”
But mostly, I get a shot in the arm because I often have a short memory.
It’s easy to forget the smell of raw sewage coursing down the center of the slum. The mud wipes easily off my shoes and I become an expert at pushing away the memory of small dark one-room homes and the oppression where hope hasn’t prevailed yet. The desperation to provide work fades a bit and the need for Jesus wears off too easily.
I return home and I forget.
I stop wrestling with every purchase and quit struggling to obey. The danger of forgetting is real and I’ve become an expert at it.
This is the enemy’s goal–to lull us back to sleep, to make us so comfortable in our American Dream that we simply forget the discomfort of the rest of the world. The battle is over before we even know we are in a fight.
The desire to do something this minute-right now-today- fades. Too often, I discover I’ve returned to my quest for more stuff; I’m playing the comparison game and I have completely forgotten the world’s normal.
And I can only think of my own.
So, I struggle to balance the weight of the world’s need with my materialism on the scale. I keep telling stories and showing you faces. I ask you to believe in miracles and move mountains.
This is my story. I return to Kenya again and again because I need to remember what it’s like to have my heart shattered. Just as it’s healing and I’m forgetting, the feelings are fading, I come back.
And I bring you with me. Over and over.
As we approach the holiday season which begs us to consume and cloud the purpose behind Christmas, and forget the people around the world who don’t have enough daily bread, may we not forget. The opposite of forgetting is remembering.
Eucharisteo is remembering His brokenness and how Jesus is with us on our broken way.
“I hold the broken Last Supper in front of me, a Jesus with broken hands. What did Jesus do after He gave thanks? “And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them.”4 He took it and gave thanks. Eucharisteo. Then He broke it and gave. How many times had I said it: “Eucharisteo precedes the miracle”? Thanksgiving precedes the miracle—the miracle of knowing all is enough. And how many times had I read it—how Jesus “took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people”?5 Eucharisteo—Jesus embracing and giving thanks for His not-enough—that preceded the miracle. But why hadn’t I been awakened at the detonation of the revelation before? What was the actual miracle? The miracle happens in the breaking. Not enough was given thanks for, and then the miracle happened: There was a breaking and a giving—into a kind of communion—into abundant filling within community. The miracle happens in the breaking,” Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way