I departed Kenya in May after a two-year season of living and working hand-in-hand with Kenyans, and I realized this month how easy it is to forget what that is like. 5 months in America made it hard to remember how different it is to work with the locals in a foreign country each and every day, but the arrival of Cornel and Duncan in the States served as a strong reminder. As we traveled all over the country speaking to groups and goofing off in the car, God showed me yet again how blessed I am to serve with guys like these.
I’ve written before about how much I love that the “care” in CARE for AIDS is coming from Kenyans, to Kenyans. Another aspect of CFA that really gets me going is the fact that none of this could be happening without God’s provision in putting together pieces that cannot stand on their own. As Cornel, Duncan, Justin, and I spent many hours together this month, it became clear that we are each very different. We have vastly different backgrounds – sometimes it seems impossible for me to comprehend what growing up surrounded by poverty and sickness was like for Cornel. At the same time, the pressures and challenges that Justin has faced seem baffling to Duncan! Along with our backgrounds, though, we each bring different skills and experience to the table. Duncan and Cornel know what families suffering from HIV/AIDS need, and they know how to put together and lead a team of 40 Kenyans. Justin and I know what it’s like to be part of an organization, and we know (or are learning!) how to mobilize the resources of America to equip CARE for AIDS in Kenya.
It’s tempting to start smashing these pieces together and say something like, “With our powers combined, we will change the world!” But that’s not the truth. Despite our different experiences, our educations, our connections, and our ideas, none of us are capable of making this happen. None of us really “know” what needs to be done, or how to do it. Nothing would be happening right now if it wasn’t for God filling in the gaps in each one of us. We don’t really have a whole lot to offer, but He is able to do amazing things with very little!
I sat down to write about how exciting it is to be part of a cross-cultural team, and how important that is in international development. In the last few minutes, though, I realized that what is really important is the fact that every member of our team is looking to Jesus for direction. We couldn’t do any of this without him – no matter our qualifications or experiences. So if you’ve been touched by any part of CFA this month – seeing Cornel and Duncan, hearing their stories, joining in a textbook drive, even reading this blog – don’t thank any of the people on this team, but thank the God who does so much with insufficient pieces.