Today was a good day: I saw a hero march off to war
Last night, I had a T-bone steak for dinner.
As I sat in the restaurant enjoying one of the few good meals I have had in the last month or so, I thought about how many people here have no idea what it is like to have the type of dinner I was eating … and never will.
Here in Kenya, it is hard not to write about the poverty and the desperate conditions because you’re engulfed in it throughout the whole country.
Nairobi seems worse because of the concentration of people, but it isn’t any better out in the countryside or in other cities in Kenya.
There is a section of the society that is prosperous, but I have not spent much time in that part of Nairobi and see very little of it.
The gap between them and the overwhelming bulk of people is wide.
Prices for most consumer items are comparable to the U.S., but few people can afford them because most people make about $5 a day IF they can get a job.
There is some insidious relation between mud and poverty, as if they were cousins in human oppression.
Mud mingled with trash is everywhere and it coats every part of your existence.
When the mud is gone, it is replaced by a coating of dust that digs into your spirit, weighing it down into the dirt.
The poverty is so ubiquitous that people have become oblivious to the conditions around them.
And yet, these conditions not only do not stop these people, but seem to cause heroes to rise up out of them.
I met one such hero the other day.
I was speaking to a meeting of a network of local pastors and at the end of the meeting a man stood up to ask for prayer.
He was dressed in used, shabby clothing and it was obvious he had little, if anything, in his pockets.
He was about to head into an extremely difficult area to evangelize it and needed the prayers of the pastors assembled there.
He would be facing challenges there that Americans are not able to grasp and would be going in there alone with no resources, no friends and no support.
I quickly offered him a whole case of Bibles to take with him and as I held hands with him and prayed, the Lord showed me the dark and difficult path this man was about to enter.
It was so dark and heavy I almost shuddered.
I asked him if he was aware of what I was seeing and his answer came back quickly and crisply.
Yes, he knew.
That was it.
There were no other considerations for him to pause over, to ponder, or to worry about – he simply knew how hard it was going to be and that was that.
I watched as he strode down that muddy street, a case of Bibles hoisted on his shoulder, with little more than the thousand shilling note I gave him in his pocket, heading off to a greater challenge than most of us will ever face in our whole lives.
There was something about the way he was walking down that street that got to me.
He wasn’t walking – he was marching.
I will probably never see that man again, but someday we will meet on the other side and I will ask him to sit down and tell me the story of the battles he went off to face, armed with nothing but a confident faith in God, a serious dedication to the mission before him and a case of Bibles.
Today was a good day.
I watched a genuine hero march off to war.