Last week one of our co-workers made a statement ‘it’s okay for you guys, you’re rich’. They didn’t say it to me (which is just as well) but to Pete. It really bugged me. There’s always the assumption that just because you’re white, you must have loads of money.
I suppose, when you live in a country where the majority work for $5 a day or less, then what we make does make us magnificently rich.
Richness goes far beyond the money you earn.
I know of people who live a lavish lifestyle, drive the best cars, fly first class all the time and where cash is never in short supply. In this sector there are those who are the most miserable and there are those who are happy as anything.
I also know people who have absolutely nothing, live in a shack, looking for work and struggle to survive from day to day. In this sector there are those who are the most miserable and there are those who are happy as anything.
Pete went back and asked our co-worker what she meant. I mean, here we as missionaries in Kenya, totally reliant on the generosity of our friends and family to put food on the table. But people let you down, their business goes down the toilet or they change their minds and go on holiday instead. Ultimately, our reliance is upon God, we just pray that He will touch peoples hearts to partner with Him, via us.
We don’t have a car, our own place to live in and our stuff is still in boxes 4 months later. Thankfully some friends bought us a motorbike, and we are house sitting for our team members for a few months.
So, I’ve re-evaluated the statement on being rich and I can tell you I’m filthy rich!
- I’m married – we’ve just celebrated 25 years of being together. Amazingly we haven’t killed each other yet, in fact we love each other more than ever before!
- We have the best kids – okay, there were times I wanted to give them away, but they are awesome. I wouldn’t swap them for anything.
- I’m in a job I love – heck, daily I’m involved in bringing positive change to young people, able to help our diverse team reach their potential, and I even have my own desk!
- I’ve travelled the world – okay, not to Europe or South America and Antarctica is still on my bucket list. But I’ve been all over the place from backpacking in Tanzania, palace hunting in India and in one of the best hotels in Dubai just to mention a few. I’ve lived in one of the most beautiful countries in the world (New Zealand), lived and loved Aussie and now live in Kenya.
- I know who I am – I had the privilege of coming to know Christ when I was 14. Man, I’d be a mess without Him. I know I’m a child of God, I know I’m Heaven bound one day but until then, there’s the adventure of life. So even though it sucks sometimes, I know He will never leave me nor forsake me.
Sure, I’d love to have an endless cash supply to increase the effectiveness of what we do here in Kenya. I’d love not have to scrap together a few dollars so our teachers have better resources. I’d love to be able to take a long weekend off and travel 9 hours to the beach.
All those things will come eventually, but if we are always looking at what we don’t have, then it blinds us to all the magnificent things we have right in front of us.
Things come and go. Our faith, our friends and family, they are the real things that make us rich.