[anzac] 4 DAY BUSRIDE CHANGED MY WORLD - Lee Grady

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From: "REVIVAL List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Thu, 12 Nov 2009 23:58:32 +1300
HOW a FOUR-DAY BUSRIDE CHANGED my WORLD
-by J. Lee Grady.

Last month God used a poor pastor from Malawi to challenge my
suburban American priorities.

When I arrived in Nairobi, Kenya, last month to conduct a women's
conference, my host, a journalist named Gideon, mentioned that
my "pastor friend from Malawi" was waiting to see me. I was
surprised to hear this, since I wasn't aware that I had a pastor
friend from Malawi. I've never been to that country and I didn't
remember talking to anyone from there.

"He says you've been e-mailing each other," Gideon said. "And
he arrived today to see you."

"I think we should let reality sink in. So much of the world today is
struggling while we Americans—even in an economic recession—
are living at a level of unimaginable abundance."

Then I vaguely remembered receiving a message a few months
earlier from a man from somewhere in southern Africa. He asked if
I would come to his country to speak at a women's conference,
and I told him that I can't do events like that with people until I have
met them and established a relationship of trust.

In a few hours I met this man, Pastor Peacepound. After a few
minutes of small talk I learned that he had traveled on a crowded
bus from Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi, to Nairobi. It was a four-
day journey.

Four days on a bus? I was stunned. I've never met anyone in the
United States who has traveled that long to attend a Christian
meeting. We simply aren't that spiritually desperate. But this guy
was so concerned about the way women are abused in his country—
through domestic violence, molestation and mutilation—that he
made an astonishing sacrifice.

Then he stunned me again with a question. "You said you could
not come to Malawi unless we met. Now that we have met, will you come?"

What was I supposed to say? I almost laughed out loud as I
imagined a possible response. "Well, pastor, I'll have to pray about
that," just didn't seem appropriate. How could I deny this man's
petition when he had paid such an incredible price? What was there
to pray about?

This pastor's request reminded me of the apostle Paul's vision of a
Macedonian man who said to him, "Come over to Macedonia and
help us" (Acts 16:9, NASB). Pastor Peacepound's appeal was as
sincere as it was humbling. Before the afternoon was over I had
committed myself to coming to Lilongwe. It was the least I could
do in light of this man's faith and tenacity.

I'll have to make a few sacrifices to go to Malawi next year. I don't
enjoy being away from my family that long. But when I consider the
fact that my plane ride from Florida to Africa will take less time
than Pastor Peacepound's famous bus ride, it puts things into perspective.

In my recent travels in the developing world I have met so many
precious men and women like Pastor Peacepound. They know little
of our Western comforts. They've never seen granite countertops,
flat-screen TVs, iPods or GPS systems. They can't imagine needing
garage door openers, leaf blowers, security systems or the other
suburban niceties we think are so crucial. The concept of gated
communities or home theaters is an unthinkable concept to them.

These people live in poor countries where many people don't even
have access to clean water or reliable electricity. They are just
thankful to have enough rice and beans on the table. (Meanwhile
some of us are obsessing about whether our gourmet vegetables
are organic.)

As I have built friendships with Christian leaders in the developing
world, God has totally messed with my suburban values:

My friend Raja, who rescues throwaway baby girls from trash cans
in southeastern India, runs an orphanage for dozens of kids yet
lives on a miniscule salary. Lydia, a Christian lady I met in Kenya,
runs a charitable school in Nairobi's largest slum and cares for
numerous special—needs children—even though the school cannot
cover her own living expenses. Oto, a pastor I work with in Guatemala,
feeds more than 100 needy children every day—but he has no health
insurance or retirement plan and he has never been able to afford a
vacation. It's uncomfortable to think about these jarring disparities,
but I think we should let reality sink in. So much of the world today
is struggling while we Americans—even in an economic recession—
are living at a level of unimaginable abundance

I pray we will hear and answer the Macedonian cry coming from so
many parts of the world. I pray we will act. I pray that someday
soon you will meet your own version of Pastor Peacepound, and
that you will begin to view the world through his eyes.

-J. Lee Grady is editor of Charisma.

SOURCE - http://www.charismamag.com/index.php/fire-in-my-bones