Tuesday, January 19, 2010

January 20th, 2010
Below is a journal entry I made while traveling back to Dodoma from Christmas break. Hope you enjoy it!

Today on my way to DC I had somewhat of a revelation. I know it may sound trite
but “life is all about serving .”  You can choose to serve yourself or to serve others.

As I was waiting in Denver to catch my first of three connections to Dar a CNN show was blaring about the world’s reaction to Haiti’s troubles. People were texting, twittering, and calling in about their problems here in the US and in Haiti. Comments ranged from sorrowful for having little money to bitter that their financial woes had not been solved. But all expressed concern and regret that Haiti was in dire need of aide.
It reminded me that as a species we do care about most living creatures. ( Of course for myself I must rule out snakes and spiders.) We show great concern when cruelty is done to animals, when our environment is turning up side down, when we see injustice, genocide, religious and political scandal. We even care about historical injustices and past wars. What I realized on my way back to my adopted home of Dodoma is that “reacting” to these concerns is the key to life. You see, I can care but do I act on the caring? Do I give time or money? Do I give something from myself?
To say that I care is only the first step. To say I can do is the second step. And to say I will serve is the third and final step. Now I don’t want anyone to confuse serving as only the act of working. As the hands and feet of Christ’s body we can do more than physically serve him. Serving comes in many different modes such as giving our time for a national drive, collecting used clothing, books, toys, or food for the needy around the world. Organizing awareness in our communities for the homeless, the poor, the sick, the mentally ill, or those in need of medical attention. Serving takes many forms …one just needs to ask: where is the need that they may serve and take that final step. Tonight as I listen to the news I know we have many places and people to serve. There are disasters, poverty, bombings, conflicts and misery all around us. Unfortunately the choices are endless.
I know personally how this works you see. I used to say I cared. That was it.. nothing more. I would watch TV news and cry or hear about others volunteering and wonder, “How do they do that?” But nothing more did I do. Today, I am sitting on a plane waiting for my connector flight to Zurich where I board another plane to Kenya and on to Tanzania. Three years ago with retirement in front of us, my husband and I would never have dreamed we would be volunteering in Africa. What a wonderful difference God can make in ones life. All we need to do is just open up and say,” Yes I will Lord. Hear am I.”
Tonight I am returning to serve, to care and to love my fellow sisters and brothers of Tanzania. We are all one family under God. One heat beat living on this great earth!
If you ever wondered how you would serve don’t ..just say in prayer, “ Here I am Lord” and he will lead you!
PS: I wish to add a footnote here. A special thanks goes out to all my ELC fellow members who donated so generously to my collection basket while I was home. (Over 380.00 dollars) An additional big thank you to a special caring individual who donated $200.00 one Sunday morning. God bless you Michelle. And last a wonderful and grateful thank you to Christine and Jeremy for their work in collecting all types of balls and games for a primary government school we have adopted in Dodoma. Stay tuned for pictures! Last but not least a grateful praise God for the council’s pledge of money coming in the Spring which will be used as a scholarship fund for Msalato Seminary students. Thanks to all of you I go back with a warm heart and a renewed belief in the goodness of God’s children.
In Christ,
Charlotte Reid