[anzac] "EVERYTHING is UPSIDE DOWN"

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From: "REVIVAL List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2007 12:23:40 -0700
"EVERYTHING is UPSIDE DOWN"

MARC WHITE WRITES:  A dear friend and brother in the faith 
wrote this to us a few years ago after his work in southwest Africa 
exposed him to the bleak contrasts in cultures. God help us... 
-------------------------------
Fall 2003 

Dear Marc, 

Until you've lived outside the U.S. for awhile, you don't fully realize 
how upside down everything is. I caught a glimpse of it on short-
term trips, but I realize it fully now. 

In America, things that are not at all important, are made to seem 
like they are very important. This is not just in the worldly culture
surrounding the Christian, it is in the Christian culture. Other things 
that are very important are made to seem like they are insignificant. 

Okay, you are probably wanting examples right now. Entertainment 
for example. Americans are entertained to death by sports and 
movies and TV and you name it. It is amazing how much of our 
society is consumed with entertainment. Entertainers make the 
most money of anybody in our culture for a good reason. We are 
HUGE entertainment consumers. That huge endeavor adds very, 
very little to anyone's life. In the final analysis, it has almost NO 
long-term value even in a temporal society. The rest of the world 
sees America as basically a frivolous, entertainment society. 

On the other hand, relationships and the time it takes to build 
them well, are completely ignored by almost everyone in American 
society. We are in such a hurry to do all the unimportant things, 
that we don't have time for the one thing that will go into eternity 
with us: other people. 

Do you realize how hard it is to minister to people in America? 
You spend 90% of your time just trying to get people's attention. 
Then the remaining 10% you try to minister to them. But do it 
quickly because they are checking their watch the whole time 
and thinking of the other 10 things they have to do today. 

In Africa, it is completely the opposite. People can't afford 
entertainment, they are trying to survive and put food on their 
table, if they even own a table. But Africa is a relational society. 
They understand taking time to get to know each other. In Africa, 
ministry is such a rewarding experience. You just show up and 
people are eager to listen. 

Tonight I taught for the second week in a very poor church in a 
nearby squatter's camp. The whole church showed up. They 
constantly want to know if I can possibly come more often and 
teach them the Bible. This is on the outskirts of the capital city 
of Namibia, but it is like traveling around the world and depositing 
yourself into a tribal setting. These people are Kavango. 

One of the couples who I gave a ride home after it was over, told 
me this: "We have been waiting and praying for years for someone 
to come to teach us God's Word. The last two weeks have taught 
me so much, you are such a blessing to us to come all the way 
from America to teach us about God." Marc, you can probably 
guess how many times I have heard someone in America say 
something like that to me. That's right. NEVER. It happens every 
week over here. 

When I would return from short-term missions trips, I would always 
commit to myself, that I was going to make fundamental lifestyle 
changes. And then I found that it is almost impossible to lead a 
lifestyle that is swimming against the current of everything else in 
your culture, your Christian culture. Rest is so important. It is a 
biblical standard. But Americans have absolutely no understanding 
of rest. Africans understand rest. 

And so I finally decided to move to a place where life is already 
right side up: where important things are still important and 
unimportant things are unaffordable. And where you don't have to 
be a Public Relations expert to draw a crowd of eager learners 
who will appreciate the gifts that God has given you to bless others. 

Your brother in Christ... 

~SOURCE:  "Walk Worthy" - http://www.walkworthy.org