"And if you SPEND YOURSELVES on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness and your night will become like the noonday."

"The Lord will continually guide you. He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail."- Isaiah 58:10-11

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

What is comfort? What brings joy?

We had a very interesting conversation the other day when we were talking about Dave and Carrie's houseworker, Emily.  She is in the picture above with us.  She is a single mom of two boys, one of which has sickle cell anemia and is often very sick.  She works for Dave and Carrie full time - 5 days a week.  All of the families here have houseworkers - it's a way of supporting another family and of providing jobs for Kenyans.  (I'd like to bring a houseworker and a gardner home with me!)  

Emily lives in Banana Hill - there are pictures of her town in an  earlier post.  Katie asked why she didn't live here at Rosslyn Academy and instead lives in Banana hill.  Auntie Carrie told Rachel that she actually had the option to live here in the worker's housing but she chose to live in Banana Hill.  "Why?"  Great question!  From all outward appearances it is much, much, much more comfortable here.  Here there is running water, electricity, safety, and a bigger house.  There she has to walk to a pump for water, there is no electricity, and her home is smaller.  But that is what is familiar to her and the things we consider 'conveniences' are not important to her.  Sure it takes more time - but she is not in a hurry.  Her family is there - her sister lives very close.  She has many friends there.

  So the first question we pondered is what do we need to be comfortable?  The second is what do we need to be happy?  I challenge you to think through these with your family as well....


Heidi said...

Annie, We are so glad Rick has joined you. Easter was beautiful, even though it snowed a foot. Your reflections on comfort and satisfaction are very meaningful. Keep the challenges coming.

Daniel Manahan said...

Hello Smiths!! Ann, Mel and I just read through all of your posted info. Thank you for taking the time to keep us all up to date. We really appreciate sharing this experience with you. We're praying for good health and an awareness of Jesus like never before! Love to you all R,A,K,R,J&C. Love, Heather

Anonymous said...

Hi Ann. Thank you so much for sharing your trip with us. Your post about Emily was particularly thought provoking. Here in America I think we put such a high premium on "comfort" that we often miss the joy that comes sometimes even outside of our "comfort zones". Our prayers are with your family for health and safety on the remainder of your trip.

The Schaefer family

Matt said...

The posts are awesome!! Praying for you all.