In the little grocery store, we purchased beans, oil, and rice. We added sugar, once rationed, to our basket along with a sweet treat: lollipops. With our box of staples packed,we drove to Goodluck’s home in Tanzania.
While my husband climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro with Compassion International, I traveled with a Compassion representative to spend additional time with our sponsored children. Today, the itinerary included a visit to Goodluck’s home with a hospitality gift.
During the car ride, Goodluck, 5, chattered in Swahili about simbas (lions). It was beautiful music to my ears. We parked in a field and walked towards a clearing surrounded by banana trees. A goat exited the home as Goodluck’s grandparents welcomed us inside. Abandoned as a baby, the grandparents serve as Goodluck’s guardians.
A few moments into our visit, the grandfather left and returned with a loaf of bread and several soda bottles. The bread was handed to me; I broke a piece and passed it on. The glass bottle felt cool on my lips.
On a Tuesday morning in Tanzania, the world shrank as differences faded away. Gathered in a circle, we ate, drank, and loved as neighbors. The bread and soda represented something sacred and hopeful.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these. Mark 12:30-31 (NIV)
Love moved around the circle carried on pieces of bread and gulps of soda. In a modest home with limited means, my new friends demonstrated neighborly love. Later, I asked my guide about their generosity. He ensured me that even if they had to borrow money to provide the food and drink, they would have. They gave out of scarcity, not abundance. Pure, unselfish love.
As Goodluck enjoyed his lollipop, we loved as new neighbors in this small world. Love your neighbor as yourself.
In recognition of World Malaria Day on April 25, Compassion International is raising awareness and funds for mosquito nets for Tanzania. Join the fight against this preventable disease.
Learn how you can bless your neighbors in Tanzania on World Malaria Day.
“God has given us two hands–one to receive with and the other to give with. We are not cisterns made for hoarding; we are channels made for sharing.”―