Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Pray for Todd. Pray for Africa. Pray for Us.

I had lunch with Todd Brogdon today. (Please see his picture on my April 9 post.) He was not looking so good, although he was his usual charming self. After lunch, he went to the doctor at the Belgium Embassy (because the doctor at the U.S. Embassy will see Embassy staff ONLY). Sure enough, Todd has malaria. The Brogdons, who are planning to leave by June 1 (after two years of service), are now batting 1000: Jessica, Rebecca, Ben, and now Todd, shall each have their own malaria story to tell. Please pray for Todd's speedy and full recovery.

The Brogdons are very strong (and wonderful) people. For them, it is just an interesting story: "I got malaria. I spent a couple of dollars on medicine (literally, just a couple of dollars!), and I got well." But EVERY DAY, for thousands upon thousands of Africans, mostly children, malaria is a slow and painful death. Why? Because they do not have a couple of dollars for the life-saving medicine. A couple of dollars, for a couple of pills, taken for just a couple of days. That's it! This distresses me, as I am sure it does you. What can we do? The first thing for us to do is to see Africans as God sees Africans, which is the same way that He sees Princes William and Harry, and your precious children, and you and me. An African life has the same inestimable, enormous value as yours and mine, and any temptation for me to think otherwise is shameful narcissism and racism. Once we care, we must next ponder how we distribute and spend our resources. Someday I (we all) will be tested, but fortunately it is a "Take Home Exam" and we are given the answers in advance. (See Matthew 25: 31 - 46.) How easy can that be?!?! Well, I am pained to confess that for me it is still not all that easy. But let us pray and think upon it together, and NEVER tolerate the "cop out": "There is nothing that I can do. I cannot make a difference". We can. We must.