Tuesday, January 03, 2012

White Men Don't Do This

Another fishing story, but this one has to do more with culture than language. The same day last week that I was fishing another interesting thing happened. I was on one side of the pond fishing beside 2 or 3 other Zambian families and Dailes and her son Milton were fishing on the other side.

As they sat there, some of the Zambians around them began to ask "Why is the bwana (boss) fishing with us wakuda (blacks)? This is not normal, that he would come and be with us."

Even today, after 40+ years of independence from British colonialism, there is still a divide that exists between black Zambians and whites. It is not common for us to actually come into their community and show them that we are interested in being around them, in building relationships with them, in investing in their lives and learning from them, in understanding their culture and knowing their language and in serving them instead of being served.

Had Dailes not been there on the other side of the pond, I probably wouldn't have had any idea how my presence at the pond was perceived, but I'm glad she was. Not only did she have an opportunity to talk about Kerri and me and tell them why we had come to Chikankata, she was also able to give us a little insight into the culture and people we are trying to minister to.

As I have continued to reflect on their statements about me that day at the pond, I have been reminded of a verse from the book of Philippians and how Christ invaded our world. How God took on flesh so that we ultimately could be reconciled back to Him. Listen to the verse: "He did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness and being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross." May we all look for ways to do things that are not normal for the glory of our beautiful Savior!

1 comment:

Christy said...

Just sitting here trying to wrap my mind around you being referred to as "boss." :-)