Who’s Sacrificing Here, Anyway?

It’s easy to think that, as citizens of a wealthy country, we USA types know what’s best for allllll the other countries.

We’re here to fix you. You’re welcome.

Granted, BESTWA uses donated funds to buy food, employ cooks, and serve a daily hot meal to more than 900 children. And yes, those of us traveling to Liberia had to get immunizations and visas and mosquito nets and pay for airline tickets and rented cars and drivers, and, and, and… a very real financial sacrifice for some.

But shortly after we arrived, the churches affiliated with BESTWA held a Sunday afternoon welcome service. One of the pastors made this statement, which I found quoteworthy:

No one is so rich that he cannot receive,
and no one is so poor that he cannot give.

Sure enough, we soon learned that we American peeps weren’t the only ones sacrificing.

Look at what magnitude of hospitality we received…
Because of the drought, the water level in the bucket well next to our building was too low to reach. Fortunately, a school about a quarter mile away gave BESTWA permission to use their pump well. Every drop of water we needed for washing, bathing, and flushing, came to us atop a child’s head.
Please note, kids are used to hauling water on their heads and they earned a little money for their efforts on our behalf. But still.

And here is how we got hot bath water. Our hosts heated it by the kettle full, right over the propane tank, and hauled it upstairs in a bucket.

Martha Gibson is a sweet elderly lady who’s been running an orphanage in her home and at her own expense since the end of Liberia’s civil war (August 2003). She brought us this gift of produce from the garden she uses to provide food for the children.

These ladies prepared a delicious dinner for their guests in this outdoor, partially floored “kitchen.” It was hot, hard work, but they were clearly bent on giving us their best.

After the meal, these same generous people gifted us with our very own traditional Liberian dresses, complete with head wraps. (Think we can fool anyone that we’re really African?)

So, yeah. The supplies we brought, the record-keeping system the administrators established, the rice we took to the orphanage and the Old Folks Home, the time we took traveling… it all sort of paled next to the gracious and loving care we received.

It is good to be generous, but sometimes it’s even better to be humbled.

Thanks for reading,

About Jan C. Johnson

Welcome! If you like food, reading, laughing over life's little disasters, and maybe thinking about the bigger things of life, you have come to the right place. Besides blogging, I write humorous fiction, though real life tends to leave fictional humor in the shade. But I'm not a total goofball. No, really. I'm also working on a biography project. I live in North Texas with my husband, Brent. We enjoy bicycling, Mexican food, and traveling to visit our kids and grandkids.
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6 Responses to Who’s Sacrificing Here, Anyway?

  1. DONNA PRICE says:

    Thanks so much for your special report!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a wonderful trip it must have been, for you and your hosts. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Jeannine Johnson says:

    Thanks Jan, for sharing, what a loving and generous people they are!
    Thank you for your part in all this too,

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Pingback: Liberia Report: Contrasts | Joywriting: Everybody Has a Story

  5. Wow, Janice. I’m sure it’s was a wonderful trip experiencing the other’s life and culture. Thanks for sharing…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Liberia Report: Cooking | Joywriting: Everybody Has a Story

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