Americans are pretty obsessed with “affording” stuff. I saw a quote recently, though I can’t recall it, that said something like:
“We work all the time to afford all the things we never have time to enjoy because we’re always working.”
We Can’t Afford It
We’ve afforded bigger homes, nicer cars, longer vacations, but we can’t afford for mom to stay home and raise her children, and little by little, we can’t even afford children. (Hands down, THE most common question we get about both the number of children we have and my staying home is, “how do you afford it?”)
But I think we’re usually lying. I think we have a grossly skewed idea of what “afford” means, and few of us are really in dire situations that call us to sacrifice the important things.
John, Mary, Mark, Godfrey and George spent the night with us this week. They are orphans traveling across the US with a choir from Uganda.
Back home, they eat three meals a day, which is a privilege not every child in their country has, and each meal consists of posho and beans. (Posho is made up of finely ground white cornflour mixed with boiling water until it becomes solid.) They might get chicken at Christmas. Let that sink in…posho, three times a day.
They have very few toys or materials goods. They play soccer together and do school, but that’s the typical life, day in, day out, for these children. They live in conditions very few of us can imagine, though much improved for them, with hundreds of them living together in a big room.
The oldest boy said, “There are no hardships in America.”
How has this poverty affected them?
They are happy. They are grateful. Boy, are they grateful. They are kind, respectful, polite and very affectionate. They are smart, energetic and helpful. They love Jesus. And they dance and sing like there is no tomorrow. (I observed it, but I also talked with one of the missionaries who travels with them who confirmed it.)