We were driving down the road on the outskirts of Kisumu, Kenya, a modern city in the banks of Lake Victoria, when something caught my eye.
We drove past a woman washing her clothes in the stream, next to a colossal billboard advertising a washer / dryer combo. It read: ‘Who said washing clothes is hard work’?
While the woman and the advertisement were directly next to each other, the two could not have been further apart. It was such a dichotomy to see an ad that would not stand out in North America next to a scene that does not stand out in Africa. But placed together, the two images were worlds apart.
She has no more chance of ever owning a modern-day appliance than I have of winning the Ms. World pageant. Maybe that didn’t bother her. Maybe it bothered me because even after all this travel I still consider things like a washing machine more of a right than a luxury. And that’s after washing a lot of underwear and socks in bathroom sinks. What I consider my rights versus luxuries are so separated from what that woman would consider a right or a luxury.
Now that we’re back and in our normal lives here in Canada, there are things that I used to consider my rights that really stand out to me now as overwhelming luxuries. It’s tough to separate what I experienced in our travels with what I see back in Canada. I feel different: I look at the world differently, I look at my finances differently, I look at my heart differently. Yet I live in the same world I did before. The struggle now is what to do now with the changes that took place in me.
It’s a good reason that everyone should be involved in missions. You change, whether that’s what you’re after or not.