Sunday, January 20, 2008

Not Such A Small World

I never liked to travel. In fact, although hate may be too strong of a word, I definitely disliked it greatly. I was a homebody; I liked the comfortableness of routine. That is, until I learned to travel my way - with as few plans as possible. Take me on a trip where every minute is scheduled and I'm miserable. Let me go exploring and I'm as happy as can be. My delayed awakening to the joys of travel meant that I, unlike my sister, never went on a jaunt around Europe to celebrate the conclusion of high school. Nor did I go on one of the many fabulous trips offered during my college career. To some extent, I'm making up for the deficiency now as I travel more than I thought I ever would.

Because of my original disinclination to travel and my subsequent embrace of it, I now try to convince others of its value. Namely with my students, but with others as well. One of the reasons for this is that its hard not to love a place that you've really experienced. We tend to get so wrapped up in our worlds that the news of death and destruction in other places rarely touch us. But when you've been there, when you know the names and the faces of those who are threatened, the headlines took on a whole new meaning. You live for the next story, you visit often, and you pray with every fiber of your being.

I know of which I write as I have recently returned from Kenya. For those who don't know, I left on Dec. 28 and since December 29 the country has been terrorized by riots, violence, and politckikng the places the ego of the supposed leaders over the lives of their followers. The country is literally ripping at the seams, and as I anxiously await the news of my friends' village, I am gripped by the reality that the extent of this turmoil would have effected me much less if I had not been there to experience the country's beauty. My heart is broken regularly for a country who, for me, defined welcoming, and is now defined by violence. A community that I grew to love, is now threatened for its existence and a people who have worked so hard to achieve a better life, now struggle to protect any life at all.

Being thousands of miles away there is little that I can do for this community, but I can do this. Empowering Lives International has set up an emergency fund to help in care for those who are displaced. You can read more here on ELI's blog. Donation information is as follows:

Empowering Lives International
PO Box 67 Upland, CA 91785
Earmark it for the “Kenya Emergency Fund

Regardless of your ability to give please be praying not only for my friends and their community, but for the leaders both local and national to see God's face, be inspired by His glory and to find His peace.

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