A Night in the Mara

A Night in the Mara

Night has descended upon the Masai Mara. Winds swirl around our luxury tent as I write this post. Something like a giant woodpecker is banging on one of the nearby trees. In many ways it feels like siting at a campsite on cool summer night back in the States. Yet, it is entirely different too.

We are seven time zones away from our home. We are in a developing county that has many of the same struggles as our nation. Only they are poorer here, and they have less resources. They also have beautiful people and some of the most amazing animals on earth. Today we were within meters of elephants, zebras, gazelles, wildebeests, giraffes, and lions. All of them were free and without boarders to govern their movement.

I love the exploration of a safari whether it a boat ride looking for hippos or a three day trek into the Masai Mara. The great Wildebeest Migration is currently taking place here, and it is absolutely spectacular. Yet, with every safari I am reminded how we in the West are people who have so much, and a good share of the world is left with the rest — so little. It’s particularly stark since each trip is intended to connect with our orphan friends and also includes a safari of sorts.

Guilt may not be a helpful nor healthy way of dealing with the tension. Yet, not recognizing that we are the rich and most of the world is the poor is far from honest. To live with integrity and intentionality in following the ways of Jesus, it is imperative that we sense our place of power within this global world. Lives of justice and mercy are mandated by the prophet Micah. Generations later Jesus tells the story of a rich young ruler who wants to live into the kingdom of God. When asked how to live into this kingdom, Jesus simply tells the young man to go and take care of the poor. Both Micah and Jesus are so simple and direct.

With each trip, I like to believe we can alleviate poverty and replace it with hope-filled lives. How do we help our Kenyan orphan friends live with hope and live with the perspective of global hope for all of this world? We have the ability to impact this planet when we are willing to recognize we hold much of the power to make it happen. To do so, we, like the rich young ruler, will need to sacrifice much. And in so doing, we will find joy in the eyes of a loving orphan children who will call us by name.

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