Where Life is Black and White


This woman makes pennies a day by collecting branches and selling them. She is lucky to work… She has shoes. Many of the woman that do this job climb the mountains and forage for tree limbs without shoes!

We have been in Ethiopia for four days now, and this is the first time I have been able to post. The Internet connection has been too weak. It has been frustrating. But alas today, it is a little stronger.

I feel like each day has been a chapter in a book, but the highlight of Ethiopia is indeed the people. Their warmth and humility are so engaging and touching. God has been gracious to send us here and allow us to be a tiny chip of a blessing in the sea of needs in this country.

Life is desperate in Ethiopia.

I remember attending Bible studies in the states where the worst prayer request wass sometimes that the person could get his swimming pool cleaned that week.

This is extreme. The human condition all over the world is desperate, but the gift of money masks the need. But being in Ethiopia makes the world black and white. Life is reduced to this simplicity: Those who eat and those who don’t. And if you can afford nourishment, you live like a king. 

Life here is not about ivy-league colleges or sororities or designer clothes or landing the best job. It is not even about education. It’s about living one more day because someone gave you food, clean water, or medicine.  

Honestly, I feel so wicked and self centered when I come here. And I need a visit or two to iron out the selfishness of my heart–to get my priorities straight about what and what not are important.

Yes, indeed, every human needs to go somewhere in the world where life is black and white. It sure makes the color in your own world more vivid, more rich. And the individual more grateful and less irrational about insignificance.

In fact, a good dose of black and white living is the best cure I know for an ungrateful heart.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Tara says:

    Much to chew on. Thanks for a reality check.

  2. Mom says:

    There is nothing like seeing how the really poor people on earth live—to bring us to our knees in thankfulness for where we live. Thanks for sharing your hearts and your lives to better the lives of these dear people. Jesus is dancing with joy over both you and Wayne. And so am I. Love you, Mom

  3. David Katz says:

    I have been a bad follower of your blog over the past weeks. I woke up the other day and realized that I had not followed your treks and felt very guillty so now, after Yom Kippur, I am atoning for my failure to follow your latest adventures. This is a good message. We need to keep these realities close to our hearts and appreciate all that we have. Looking forward to seeing you when you get home. By the way, it seems that Tara and I run neck in neck in comments and faithfulness to your blog. What are the latest statistics.

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