Spent the day in the airport yesterday. I guess our plane took a bird in the engine on its descent into Kigali and was not able to make it back to Nairobi to pick us up. So I was at the airport from about 7 AM to 4. I met two groups who were on my plane, waiting with me. And, by the way, hats off to Kenyan Airways; they fed and took care of us very well the entire day. One family was visiting a daughter who has taken two years to serve at training center in the bush and the other was a church group from Washington state coming to do work and teaching in Rwanda. Great people, and really nice to be surrounded by fellow believers when I am starting to miss Laura and my kids a bit more as the days go by. Thinking of that, I was also on the plane next to a logistics manager from World Vision a week or so back. She works to get donated goods to needy places around the world.
That got me to thinking. I have met many, and I mean many, evangelical believers in Africa in airports and planes across Africa giving of themselves for this great continent. Interesting aside - the vast majority of these were Christians who believed in the absolute power and authority of the Word of God.
Have I ever met an atheist doing the same? Even a single one?
Simple answer, “Nope!”
While stuck in the airport yesterday, I met a girl from US meeting her boyfriend to have fun. I met a South African banker building his business in Ghana a few weeks back. I met a man who sets up satellite communication systems for US Embassies around the world in the tiny airport in Sierra Leone last month – he was all about flying first class and what airlines had the best service.
But these little planes, flying from one African country to another are full of Christians doing God’s work. There are no atheists, there are no godless humanitarians giving like this to serve in a part of the world that is too far from them to matter enough to act. OK, OK, there are some, there are many I am sure. But I have not met one. The numbers must be tiny compared with those motivated by the love of God – those people are the ones filling up the planes across Africa.
Our faith works. “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died;” Paul writes to the Corinthians. It is only the radical and amazing love of God giving us a love for others - the fact that Jesus died for others just as he died for us - that consistently motivates people to give up comfortable lives in nations of wealth to serve in the most needy parts of the world. That is the power of the gospel.