I took this picture at Wamba in the camel corral. We were invited by Pastor Benjamin to go and visit his family and milk his camels which we did. I think that only one of us was successful at milking a camel but we all were able to milk a goat. Pastor Benjamin wrote about that later and said how much everyone enjoyed it and then he said, “it showed a lot of love”. That meant a lot to him that we would go and see his camels and try to milk them. The truth is I wanted to go and see the camels and learn more about the lives of these amazing people. I would also imagine that others might not be as excited about something like that on a short term trip to a mission field. Our group was wonderful – they all got into the spirit of the thing. It was a great experience.
I have been trying to put together some ideas about what to do and not to do – in my opinion – when you go to a majority world country to ‘do something’. I have written on these pages that we would be amazed if we knew all the stuff that people in our Districts are doing around the world. Not all of it is helpful. We have set up the Mary Okeyo scholarship trips to be learning experiences. It is not so much what we can do for the Evangleical Lutheran Church of Kenya, but what they can teach us. I think Pastor Benjamin gives us an idea of something that would be helpful. Joining into their lives and participating and by doing so ‘showing love’. I came across this quote –
…..we propose that you approach your short-term mission trip as a student participant. A student of a culture. A student of yourself. A student of God’s goodness. A student of poverty. A participant in God’s ministry. A participant as an ambassador of Jesus Christ. A participant in God’s redemptive work. In this way, on the mission field you will do many tremendous and wonderful things. “Practical Suggestions for Short-Term Missions among the Poor” Craig Ford with Jeri Ford, as found in ‘Mission Dei” 2.1 February 2011