My friends, Chris and Rebecca, are on a long journey learning about themselves and serving in a community in Uganda. They have thoroughly been enjoying their journey and their experience has been wonderful to hear about and grow from. I wanted to continue a small series highlighting some of the great insight that they’ve been sharing with folks through their emails.
I think sometimes since we have so much knowledge and info at our fingertips we don’t see the greatness and glory of God, because we don’t need to. We have everything we need in our own home
to meet our own needs. We don’t need to worship a God who created everything, because we have everything we need and if we need something, we can usually find it.
It is a challenge we face more in the West simply because of our self sufficient mentalities. In essence we end up worshiping man instead of God. And if you say that you don’t worship man then look at society and who is given glory, man or God? We are products of our culture. To say that we are somehow removed from our culture and society would be a big mistake. Even as Christians we are
susceptible, our worldview affects all we do, and believe me I have a much different worldview than a Ugandan does. For example the question, how far is too far to walk? We were asked this during our
class, and the response of a Ugandan is far different then my response. Ugandans will walk many times 20 or 30 miles one way to then return 20 or 30 miles back all in one day! For me a westerner, I
will not walk to the grocery store if it is less than a mile or even across the street because I will opt for my car. If my way of thinking about the world regarding distance is affected so much just
by owning a car, how much different is it when you take into account computers, tv, media, money, how food is found, education, role of parents, physical vs. spirit world, climate, children etc.
I think Via the Vogts will become a regular series here on the blog. The Vogts, Chris and Rebecca, are two dear friends of mine who are spending a large part of this year in Uganda learning, growing and preparing to serve in a land far different then the one they came from. They’ve already sent a number of very long email updates sharing some of what they have been learning. I’ve enjoyed it quite a bit and thought I’d just quote a tidbit from their latest email. They talked a lot about some of the superstitions of the Ugandan culture, and then they lent some insight into the USA world view:
As Americans it’s pretty easy for us to see how silly it is to believe that excrement turns into children. We know that feverish chills and convulsions are symptoms of malaria and isn’t some evil spirit within a person. We know that giving money and food (essentially what a
sacrifice is) to the “rain god” won’t really bring rain. It’s easy to see because we don’t believe in those things. However, when we talked about the American or Western worldview some of the things we believe are just as silly – especially to the Africans who don’t believe them.
They are a lot harder for us to see but dramatically affect each of us whether we realize it or not. I’m not going to bash Americans here, we get bashed enough by the rest of the world, however I do want to point out one thing. The center of human secularism, democracy, capitalism, even our military power all point to Man. Let me explain.
Our military power is used for what – to protect ME. MY ideals. MY money. MY children. Democracy – MY vote. MY rights. MY choice. Capitalism – If I pursue maximum gain then society will develop. MY land. MY money. MY profit. MY self-interest. The center of all this is ME. I am definitely NOT saying that I prefer oligarchy, anarchy, or communism and my Grandpa and Dad were in the military. There is a TON of good in these things, but that’s not the point. The fact that our society revolves around ME greatly influences us and who we are as Christians. It even affects our view of God. I’m not going to extrapolate it further…but it’s important to think about because
we are also in bondage to money, our image, job, etc and unless we discover the center, we won’t be truly free here on earth either.
Thanks Vogts for sharing your experience with us and helping us to grow and expand our world view here state-side.
If you think about it pray for the Vogts:
* View of God would be enlarged and our relationship with Him deepened
* Our marriage – it’s hard to find time alone together when living in such a deep community
* Our health – This is a very real request here as infection and disease are common