“Isn’t it difficult for you to adjust going back and forth from Liberia to the United States when we have so much and most Liberians have so little?” This is a question that I am frequently asked and truthfully, my answer is no. After I give my reply, I often wonder if people think I am just an insensitive person. After all how could I not be affected and at least feel a little bit guilty, because I have so much and most Liberians have so little?
If you were to continue to question me about this, I would tell you that I believe that it is a gift that God has given me. I find it quite easy to adjust once I am in Liberia, because it feels like my second home. Likewise, other than jetlag, I find it easy to come back to the U.S. I believe that when God calls us to do something He gives us the strength and grace to do it.
A STUDENT’S PERSPECTIVE
Though I may be able to move in and out of the US without a problem, imagine coming from Liberia to the U.S. for the first time. One of ABCU’s students, Emmanuel, brought an orphan, Samuel, to Seattle to have an operation on his hands. Emmanuel’s parents run a Christian orphanage in Yekepa. First let me tell you about Samuel. He is 17 years old and could not use either of his hands because an evil woman, for no reason, stuck Samuel’s hands in boiling water when he was little (unbelievable). This caused constrictures in both of his hands. The operation was successful and Samuel just came back to LIberia.
Now Back to Emmanuel
I asked Emmanuel what he liked about the U.S. and he said the people are so warm and helpful. I asked him what was surprising or what he didn’t like. He said he was amazed by the excessiveness. He gave me three examples.
- He went to Walmart and just stood there watching people walk by with carts loaded high with items. He wondered how they would ever use all of it and if they needed it all.
- He went fishing with his host and his host’s son; he was amazed that they caught fish but they didn’t keep them to eat. They caught them, measured them, and then threw them back into the water. Emmanuel recorded the size of the fish each time someone caught one. He said that the fishing was all about the size of the fish and not needing the food.
- Emmanuel said, “I was over at someone’s house and Ijust had to get a picture of what I saw, because no one would believe me back in Liberia.” What did he see? The owner of the house had steps for his dog, so the dog was able to climb up onto the master’s bed to sleep. He was astonished that the dog was treated like a human and that the owners spent so much money on the dog’s care.
Emmanuel and I laughed together about this. I told Emmanuel if he came and lived in the U.S. that within a year or two he would probably be acting just like us Americans. Even though we laughed together, it does beg the question – do we in the West need to be more conscious about how much we spend and what we have? As women living in this fallen world, do we wisely use the resources that God has given us? Are we excessive in our spending? Should there be any guilt about how much we spend?
I have posted a poll question on the Think Through this time. You will see a quote; please read it and vote on whether you agree or disagree with the quote. All you have to do is click a button, of course you can leave a comment if you would like.
One last note. So far the Liberian presidential election is going well. A group of Liberian women will be praying around the clock until the president is elected and sworn in. If you would like to follow the election results, which will be officially released on Oct. 26, you can go to the National Election Committee (NEC).