I love Africa. Yes, it is physically spectacular and culturally rich. But, really, I just love Africans. The people. Fo so many reasons. God has given me loads of favor with Africans. They've been friends, not projects that help me raise support to be a missionary. Here are some of the things I love about Africans.
Humble and gracious. I love the humility of Africans. The so easily admit what they don’t know and so openly avail themselves to learn. Even if they know more than you, they value honor and humility too much to stop you and school you. They are just so gracious— sweet in spirit. They exude honor.
Incredibly Patient. I seriously still cannot fathom the patience of an African. They tolerate ridiculous lines with class. They endure bus rides that should be illegal. They gracefully navigate systems and processes that leave most outsiders dumfounded and angry. Waiting seems to be a gift— a gift of more time to tell stories and enjoy people.
Sacrificially Generous. Starting as babies, Africans learn selfless generosity. What we have, we share. It's ours. It's about us. If I receive, you will too, because I will divide it up to make sure of it. One loaf of bread? Twenty people? No problem. When I have extra, you eat. When you have extra, I eat. Giving is more natural than collecting. It’s who they are. Seems that the insurance to always have is to always give. Works brilliantly.
Relational. Relationship is always most important. It's even more important than principles. Or rules. Or straight facts. People matter most and Africans navigate their lives from that inner belief. It's why most Africans have only TWO time determining commitments; work and school. Otherwise there is nothing on the schedule for the day more important than you. In five years, I've never once been told no when I asked if I could stop by and visit an African friend. The answer is yes.
Open & Hospitable. As I've already said, Africans have the gift of welcome. When I travel I always prefer to stay with the friends I am visiting instead of in hotels. To eat their food and sleep in their space. But it's majorly humbling to be served from 6am with warm bath water that took an hour to prepare to evening tea before bed...Africans, especially African women, are unfathomably hard working and hospitable to guests.
Spiritually Passionate. And last but not least, the single greatest thing my African friends have taught me is about passion for the things of God. They have an unparalleled passion for the things of the spirit. The Supernatural seems their "natural" default. They pray hard. They sing with all they've got. The trust God in ways I'll only dream to one day. They feel and sense and know God. And they inspire others to do the same. I believe African passion is the key to igniting powerful moves of God on the earth in our time.
I'll write more about Africa later...so much more I want to share about the things I've learned and my dreams for the future on this continent.
(Obviously these sentiments are emerging from my personal experiences and are generalizing the majority, and not true of everyone, everywhere.)