Recently my husband and I went on a cruise which left Cape Town and made its way up Africa, stopping off at various places along the way, and ending in Genoa, Italy. One of the places we stopped at is a place called Dakar, a city of Senagal, in Africa.
Well, being that I am from Africa, and being that I am a Christian, I was unsure as to what to expect in this African country that claims to be 95% Islamic and 4% Christian and 1% everything else! They claim to be religion tolerant. Granted, I was on a 2 hour bus tour so I did not see much of everything, but if their outing was the best they had to offer, I was very disappointed and very saddened.
All I saw was poverty. Every woman I saw had shoes on that were 2/3's the size of their feet. I saw open meat markets and fly saturated fruit and veg. Now I am not saying that these people are not happy. Nor am I saying that any of this is unacceptable. What I am saying is that it saddened me. I saw ONE building with a cross on it - Yes, there is always hope. Always always!
Our final stop was a little village of people living at the back of the sand dunes. Their living conditions were barren and dusty and barely a green twig in sight. There was, however, a water well. I would hate to be around there on a windy day. The babies looked sick and unwell and sounded chesty. The youngsters seemed to be on their own mission! I am not judging their way of living, just saddened by their lack of, well, everything.
There was one sight that really warmed my heart. Two young boys walking arms around one another, marching around with smiles on their faces. Yes, there is always hope.
Another saddening thing was when we returned to the ship, in the lift one lady was happy and felt they had had a very "fun" outing! She asked if we too had enjoyed it! I couldn't answer her! What could I say? "Um, no!" Seriously, what did she see? I saw this great need for resources. I saw a great need for love and care. I saw a great need for Christ and His representatives to spread the hope of the gospel.
But, there is always hope!
Ps 10v17-18: O Lord, You have heard the desire and the longing of the humble and oppressed; You will prepare and strengthen and direct their hearts, You will cause Your ear to hear (18) To do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man, who is of the earth, may not terrify them anymore.
I do not know how I can help, but I know I can pray for those I saw. If God wants more from me than that, He will speak into my heart. God is aware of each and everyone of them.
I have missed chatting with you ladies :)