Why I Need Africa

I am still trying to process my experience in Ethiopia. It was so profound that I can barely articulate it. It has been a true shift in my worldview. As I have thought about this, I have realized that “I need Africa more than Africa needs me.” This has been beautifully depicted in this video:

I would be grateful if you would consider sponsoring a child from Ethiopia. For $35.00 (U.S.) a month, you can make a huge difference. You may not be able to change the world, but you could completely change the world for one child. In fact, as we witnessed first-hand, child sponsorship has an impact far beyond the life of one child.

Question: Do you need Africa? Will you be part of the solution?
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  • http://littlehoffman.blogspot.com tymm

    Agree. Agree. Agree.

    I am reposting this video for our audience as well – we all need Africa more than Africa needs us.

    I've been twice and can't wait to go back. There's a true, pure joy there that you simply can't find anywhere else…

  • http://www.laurelwreathsreflections.com Lori

    Amen.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Lindsey_Nobles Lindsey_Nobles

    What an amazing video!

  • http://DonaldJamesParker.com Donald James Parker

    I have to admit that I started to delete the email announcing this blog post. I didn't have time today to to hear more about the publishing industry, etcetera. But a small still voice told me to read it and so I obeyed. What a nice surprise. I'm afraid all American Christians would have to evaluate their priorities after making such a visit. I've decided that I need to extend my five book series to have my heroes take mission trips to Africa, Brazil, and France – two places where things are really happening and France where Christianity needs a kickstart. Thanks for the inspiration.
    Donald James Parker
    Author of Love Waits

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I'm so glad you didn't delete it!

  • http://www.martinschmaltz.com Martin Schmaltz

    Africa, Asia, Central and South America, we all need these areas more than they need us. The literal truth is, they will go on as they always have: but when we have visited them, we cannot go on as we always have.

    I have been to Asia, Swaziland, South Africa, Philippines & Kingdom of Tonga; to see the contrasts in the lives that they live compared to mine is, to say the least, eye-opening. To do so much with so little and still reveal the joy of the Lord in their lives.

    Probably one of the greatest awakening moments, is to realize how giving they are. Out of what little they have (at least compared to me) they are willing to share and do so with such happiness.

    Yes I need them to keep me focused on what it is all about.

    • http://laurabo.blogspot.com Laura

      such a profound thought, "they will go on as they always have: but when we have visited them, we cannot go on as we always have." I have never had the opportunity to do mission trips due to finances, so I can only imagine. I know when you open your eyes and look around you and see people, really see people the way God sees them, you cannot go on with life as usual.

  • http://www.liambyrnes.co.uk Liam Byrnes

    This is an interesting thought, and one obviously alot of people share. I wonder what it is about this continent that so captivates us. This runs along similar lines as something I was watching the other day which said, when go out and do missions in these areas, we are the ones who return most impacted and the most ‘evangelised’, this is especially true of short term missions.

  • http://lynnrush.wordpress.com/ Lynn Rush

    Amazing video. So true. I will spread the word.

  • http://BuildingHisBody.com Anne Lang Bundy

    Mike, like everything else we learn, it's hard to keep the lesson fresh. My prayer is that God will gift you with a fresh awareness of the dancing and singing every day of your life, and empower you to translate it into a WOW Experience for others—to God's glory.
    "Blessed be Your name in the land that is plentiful…
    Blessed be Your name when I'm found in the desert place.
    When I walk through the wilderness,
    Blessed be Your name."

    • http://BuildingHisBody.com Anne Lang Bundy

      P.S. And your blog is definitely about far more than publishing.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Christian_Man Christian_Man

    There is a missionary family in our church we help sponsor and his updates from Kenya and Uganda border on the unreal. God will work through a willing vessel. Lord, make us willing vessels…

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Amen.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Peter_P Peter_P

    I have been waiting and waiting for you to really blog about your experiences in Africa but I'm caught between two feelings.

    On the one hand I want to hear about what happened in greater depth than you could portray in 140 characters – and I want to hear it NOW.

    On the other hand, I don't want you to rush into writing about such a life changing event before you've had plenty of time to fully digest and sort through what you saw and learned. It's all too easy to write some fluff piece about such a trip but the real, heartfelt life change can take weeks or even months to sink in and permeate every part of your being to a point where you can truly communicate it.

    I'm glad therefore that you're not doing what the 'MTV generation' part of me wants and blogging about it immediately and that you're taking your time and just passing on small parts as you are able.

    I pray that this experience will take root in you and that you will not be dragged back fully into western culture and blindness.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Just so you know, I will blog as soon as I receive the "professional pictures" that the World Vision staff photographer took. He is a master. I can't wait to share them.

  • http://www.marydemuth.com Mary E. DeMuth

    That's exactly how I feel. I need to rub shoulders with believers who truly, truly trust God for their lives. I am insulated in America from dependence on Him. And as I see my brothers and sisters who suffer around the world, I look at my lifestyle more critically. How can I downsize, simplify? How can I sacrifice (which by American standards isn't really sacrifice) so others can eat?

    One of the hardest things my son and I went through post-Africa was finding out our twenty-something translator, Rebecca, died of Malaria. I'm still sick about it. She was so alive, had her whole life stretched out in front of her.

  • http://SydrycalWorks.com Sidney

    Dear Michael,
    Our Jesus/Lord in the Heavenly SphereAfter, the god of pre-determination
    and pre-destination; the math thereof.
    I pray this prayer-
    May Ethiopia redefine their determination by seeing
    a faith in the math that is none other than God who is the Constant of
    One finding equal to God the Three that is the godhead, the spirit
    that dwells and Jesus/Lord the redeemer. The 3 that equals the 1.
    As we give our monetary faith let us seek a revival in Ethiopia of
    the math of Christ, not religion the science of self-righteousness but God's
    math the science of Salvation.
    Bless this forum and your steadfast fore-arm formost here that gives
    us this advance to forbode. May our conviction eclipse our need
    and 'the need' be met.
    Sidney/SydrycalWorks

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/stubbyd Stuart

    I was raised in Africa from aged 5 to 11 and you are so right – it gets under your skin and never lets you go. I'm 45 now and it's been 34yrs since I was there but I remember it like it was yesterday – if you ask my wife what the one continent in the world I would go to without hesitation and her answer would be, equally without pause, Africa.

    And I second the World Vision sponsorship – have been doing just that for 22yrs now.

  • Bud Boughton

    Very moving. I am going to take this cause to the Stewardship/Missions Committee at my church to see how we can get more directly involved as a congreagation and potentially sponsor many children.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      That would be so awesome. The church in the U.S. is wealthy beyond imagination—and we can make a difference.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/fogbound fogbound

    What a great post and video…and how true it is. We do need Africa. And as we see the center of Christianity changing from North America to the third world and southern hemisphere, this mega-shift will make the need more evident as time goes on. I look forward to more insights from your trip. How we need our eyes opened!

  • http://www.writingfromhome.net Elizabeth M Thompson

    Wonderful post! My 21-year-old daughter is going to Uganda next week to intern with orphans. Her long-term goal is to start and operate a school for orphans in Kenya.

    I'm learning that sending money to foreign missions is easy, painless. Sending your precious child is a privilege beyond measure. It brings a measure of pride and sadness I had not anticipated. I can't wait to hear all the wonderful truths God will reveal to her in Africa. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

  • http://teawithtiffany.com Tiffany Stuart

    Thank you for the tears. I dream of being disturbed by visiting Africa. I dream of being disturbed by their joy, smiles, dance and songs. I dream of being disturbed by their poverty and desperate need. I don't want to live for me, myself and I. I want to reach out and help others more than I am now.

    We sponser a child in India. But someday soon, Lord willing, I will go to Africa. I dream of digging a water well. I dream of feeding the hungry. I dream of the transformation that will take place in my heart by stepping into their dry land.

    Yes, I need Africa. Badly..

    And to think 8 years ago, I wouldn't surrender "all" to God because I feared I'd have to go to Africa as a missionary. Now it's one of my biggest dreams. To go on a missions trip–to Africa. God loves to change hearts.

    Now to wait on His timing. I'm ready now. Or so I think I am.

    Thanks for sharing this. I love it.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I really underestimated how much it would change me. I went more or less out of obligation. I had no idea what God had in store for me!

  • Laura Davidson

    wow. i am so glad you got to GO! i wish that we could all go, and maybe one day we will, but at least someone gets to. i love what you said…"You may not be able to change the world, but you could completely change the world for one child." the video you posted is from the Mocha Club, which i have been involved with more and more over the past couple years. I love their vision and their boldness to say, "I need Africa more than Africa needs me." At first it was hard for me and my family to understand this concept. we thought it was some kind of mistake. but the deeper i dig into the Mocha Club and other mission organization like it my heart cries out to GO! my prayer is that we all be in the will of God and if its His will, lets GO!!!!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I am really intrigued by the Mocha group. I think they have a great campaign going.

  • http://wordproverb.blogspot.com/ Sheryl Tuttle

    Going through some difficult financial times personally, and last night I prayed for God to help me learn that "things" aren't what make you happy and to help me quit "wanting" so much and to be grateful for the things I have. Then, as I was reading your post I was thinking how I can't afford $35 a month more in expenses. The video pulled it all together. How can we have so much and they so little, yet we complain about needing more and they smile and dance. Wow – very moving. Thanks.

  • http://www.copyrightcafe.com Richard

    Powerful reminder of the bigger world out there beyond the sound bytes of nighty news.
    Thank you.
    Richard

  • http://www.publishedauthors.net/robsargeant Rob Sargeant

    In the nineties my wife and I lived in North Africa for two years. Nine months of this we spent living amongst the poor in the suburbs of Cairo, Egypt. This experience changed my life, and was a big part of the inspiration behind the writing of my last book, A Silent Violence. Close to thirty-thousand children die in the developing world everyday due to preventable causes. This is a silent violence. A catastrophe, which the wealthy west needs to aggressively address.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Your book sounds very intereting, Rob. Thanks for bringing it o our attention.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

    I think that was one of my biggest take-aways: how truly wealthy ALL of us are.

  • http://www.kimmirich.wordpress.com Kimmi

    Lovely lovely post and I'm happy you made the trip to and from safely.

    Yes, "we need Africa" and special thanks to those above who are making a difference, showing the need.

  • http://luke.gedeon.name/ Luke Gedeon

    Mike,

    Zemanta is donating several thousand dollars to causes that can get enough bloggers to post about them by June 6th. Right now the competition pool is small enough that 20-30 posts could put you in a strong position.

    I probably should not do this to myself, since I am trying to help a different cause, but maybe you can help worldvision win second place and let C4C have first place, that way both causes will get much needed support. :)

    Here is my post on the group writing project, with a link to Zemanta and more information.

    http://luke.gedeon.name/donate-blog-post-c4c.html

  • BAI JINJIAO

    I am a Chinese college student. This is the first time I come here.I am very excited.