A Short Post on Giving Big

Drying grain in a Ugandan yard.
Drying grain in a Ugandan yard.

I’m thinking about thanksgiving.

Not the day but the attitude.

It’s about gratitude.

And it should be about giving.

All day long, an image has been playing out in my mind.

Church entrance
Church entrance

A small dirt-floored church in a northern Kenyan refugee camps.

Hundreds of South Sudanese crowded in for worship.

It’s time for the offering.  In African culture, you come forward to give your offering.

A long line of mostly women and children (the men are off in the war or trying to protect their homes and farms from the fighting).

Several women pour grain into a pot by the offering plate.

My Sudanese pastor friend whispers,  “They don’t have money, so they give part of their grain allotment.”

Grain offering at Kakuma Kenya Nuer Camp.
Grain offering at Kakuma Kenya Nuer Camp.


I’m touched because I know something:  the UN gives refugees a computed 80% of caloric needs for the month. You get your sack of grain and it’s got to last until next month.

Watching these ladies pour out their grain offering to the Lord, I’m humbled, touched, and ashamed.

This is the picture of sacrifice.

The widow’s mite.

How can I ever return to the land of 55 inch televisions, $20,000 weddings, and the long pet aisle at WalMart?

I’m not implying that any of the above American extravagances are wrong.

Just that I’ll never be able to enjoy them again.

Without reflection.

Without reflecting on the grain offerings at Kakuma 2 Baptist Church.

In the barren desert of northern Kenya.

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 10.27.29 PMdrying grain






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