Op/Ed By Michael Vaughn –
Over the past several years, I have been blessed to be affiliated with a group of ordinary people who happen to love God, and who want that love to be extended to children who live half way around the world.
Through no fault of their own, these children have been orphaned.
They are the residents of Upendo Children’s Village!
I am part of a team that will be traveling to Malawi, Africa this month in order to minister, and share the love of God with over 60 orphans in that country.
The group that is going will be led by Nicole Tones, a wonderful woman of God who has a heart of gold.
She’s coordinated the trip, and worked tirelessly to get more than 25 people ready for this mission!
So far, this is the largest group that has traveled to the orphanage, and we expect to experience great things while we are on the ground in Africa.
Indeed, we can probably point to many problems here in America.
The high cost of living in New York; the poverty in our urban and rural centers; poor education (primarily in our urban centers); clashes between the races; political battles; homelessness; crime; the threat of war; etc.
However, one has only to visit Malawi to realize there is no better country than America!
It is very interesting that, when Donald Trump was running for president, there were a number of people who said they would leave the country if he won.
Well, he won, and they have not left!
And, that is not because they have not had the means to do so (because many of these people are very wealthy).
It is because they know that America, with all of its ills, is still a far better country than others throughout the world.
In Malawi, there is no social net, which means everyone has to fend for themselves.
So, if you are an orphan, or handicapped, etc., you have to rely on your family, friends, or the church to help you live.
Otherwise, many decide to resort to criminal behavior, or begging in a country that is already extremely poor.
By contrast, in America, there is no reason for anyone to go to bed hungry.
With all of the social programs this country has, and all of the churches and para-ministries that are available; a warm bed and some food is widely available.
It is true that people in America occasionally fall on hard times, and they may struggle to make ends meet.
But, the bar is much higher to get over in a country like Malawi than it is here.
And, while I know that not everyone will feel the urge to go to a foreign country like Malawi, it would be nice if as many that could go, would go.
I think it would help many Americans to put things into better perspective.
People would then see that we are truly blessed, and that God has smiled upon us.
As a result, we should have nothing, relatively speaking, to be complaining about.
America, with all of its opportunities, imperfect as they may be, should not to be taken for granted.
Doing so causes us to completely miss out, and not understand how good we have it.
Many of us who are going on this trip will sacrifice to pay for a plane ticket; to get shots that will allow us to be in a foreign country; to travel for about 36 hours; and to be away from all that we know and are comfortable with.
However, to see the faces of those orphans will make all of that inconsequential, as they receive the love we will share with them, from people who come from a country they can only dream about!
God bless the leaders of the Upendo Children’s Village; the teams that will travel to the orphanage; and the people that are providing financial and prayer support to this great endeavor, as our fundamental objective is to share God’s love.
If you want to know more about this great ministry, please reach out to Upendo Children’s Village, at www.upendochildrensvillage.com.
If you would like to contact me, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
(Michael Vaughn currently serves as senior pastor at New Wineskin Church in Rochester.)
(Disclaimer: The views expressed on our opinion pages are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the position or viewpoint of the Minority Reporter.)