Greg King

Five Stones

Glorified Fire Stations

As I was taking the kids to school this morning the reality hit once again that the world I live in is not the real world. We have a brand new Fire Station going up on Providence Road which has caused quite a stir with the high end subdivisions around it. One of the major concerns for some (not all) was that the Fire Station would be an eye sore for them as they entered their neighborhood. The word on the street is that someone donated $500,000 to upgrade the front appearance of the Fire Station. Needless to say as you can see by the picture this is one of the most gorgeous Fire Stations in the State. Please don’t take this as being judgemental becasue that person has the right to spend his or her money anyway they desire and for all I know he or she may be a big giver to charities that I do not know about. The problem I’m struggling with is that I know you could build at least three medical centers in Kenya for less than the cost of beautifying a Fire Station. If I was really honest the bigger problem I’m having is that in comparison with the person who donated that type of cash, I sure do waste and mishandle a lot of the money that God has allowed me to manage. I waste it on so many things that have no lasting impact. I know that the amount of money that I waste on trivial things could easily sponsor another child through Compassion International or BrightPoint for Children. God I pray that you would show me areas in my life that are glorified Fire Stations so that I wouldn’t waste your money. Give me wisdom to stop beautifying my already gorgeous life and compel me to beautify the slums of this world.

October 8, 2008 Posted by | Life | Leave a comment

Gallons of Waste

I’ve officially been back from Africa for one week and I am continually struck by the stark difference between the world I live in and the world I just left. In the book of James the author gives a challenge to those who are rich. I have to be honest that I never associated myself as the one being addressed in this passage. Let me be honest my 401K is nothing to brag about and in the States I would never be considered one of the rich. However God shook up my world to show me that in the world’s eyes and in His eyes I am rich.

I thought about this the other night, as I once again left the water running while I was brushing my teeth. The fact that having clean water is not an issue for our family is one of the key evidences that I am rich.  The most important physical need in the lives of most people in Africa is clean water. Here are some things that you may not know about the issues of water in Africa:

Water-related diseases is the single largest killer of infants in developing countries.

1.8 million children die each year from diarrhea, which is 4,900 per day

The average American uses 150 gallons of water each day to cook, clean and drink. The average African person struggles to find 5 gallons of water each day.

Only 61% of Kenya’s population has access to an improved drinking water source

On average, women in rural Africa spend 26% of their time each day collecting water, often walking more than five miles each way to the nearest water source, which prevents many of them from working or attending school and puts them at greater risk for sexual harassment and assault

When you would talk to people you realized that the thought of getting water was always on their mind. Notice that I said water and not clean water. The water that most people labored to retrieve reminded me of what the tea looks like from Chick-Fil-A. How could you possibly be motivated to think or do anything else without water? The distance and risk that ladies go to secure dirty water is baffling. In one village the doctors told the mothers with HIV that it would be safer for them to breast feed their babies than to risk giving their babies water. Just let that thought sink in for a moment. A doctor tells you that you have a choice to let your baby die of AIDS or die due to diseases from unclean water and yet the water flows in our house almost without a thought. Below I have included a few pictures of the path that the ladies traveled 3-4 times each day to collect drty water. I struggled making the trek down this path as tears kept coming to the surface with the thought of my wife having to carry 30-40 lb jug of water up and down this path.

So God’s Spirit is heavy upon me and I am praying that He would use my income and leverage my gifts make a difference. All I know is that I cannot be the same person anymore. Below is a set of pictures of the path the ladies had to travel to get water. The second picture is me halfway down the path looking back up.

October 7, 2008 Posted by | Africa, Uncategorized | 3 Comments