In honors on Wednesday, Godfrey Melissa came in and talk to us about coming to America and his mission field here within the Swahili speaking community. He told us that over in Africa 80 percent of them are Christians, but when they get to America they lose their faith. They lose their faith because they are focused on earning money and making it in America. He has now come over here to witness to them, and provide services so that they can stay faithful. Godfrey Melissa also talked about his homeland, Tanzania, and how much he missed it. One of the biggest things he misses is the community that he had there. They loved the church and him. Faith, moreover Christianity, was not just something that they “did” on Sunday, but it was part of their everyday life. He says that he will go back to his country and his home someday, but right now he believes that his mission field is still here. Then he talked a little bit more about Tanzania. He said that it is hard for a country to be “thriving” when their total income is less than one grocery store chain in America. The Tanzania government makes less than 2.5 billion dollars a year, and yet they are expected to help all their poor people.
Godfrey Melissa’s message applied very much with what we were talking about in honors the past week. We have been talking about globalization and how it is helping or hurting countries and people. We also have been talking about how to address the problem of poverty. His message clearly states that we need to worry about more than poverty. We also have to worry about what people will give up to get out of poverty.
I got a lot out of Godfrey Melissa’s message on Wednesday. He had a real perspective of what it was like living without “everything.” He also has seen many people go from the transition of being in poverty to being able to provide for their families. But, the biggest point that I understood is that we need to do more than just fight poverty. We need to help the people make the transition without losing their faith. Trading in eternal life, for a life without poverty should not be happening. Christians need to find a way to bring a balance between Christian faith and fulfilling earthly needs, to all people.