"Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it." Holy Bible
Very often, I write about our Kenyan friends in this blog. About our abiding respect for the students and the farmers, about our love for our partners and friends in Kenya, of our deep hopes that by reaching out to one another, we are all participating in a future of goodness for our world.
Today, I am thinking of my fellow Americans. You see, many of our organization’s donors come from the United States, my home country. The U.S.A. – a country that will always be a home to my heart. Most simply, these donors give money so that students can go to school and farmers can have food in Kenya.
When I was a teenager, I recall listening to some people from another country speak their (in this case, negative) thoughts of my country; it was in that moment that I realized others can speak of one’s “place” and give their opinions of it. Of course, it is one thing to have an opinion from far away, and quite another to experience a place oneself, up close. It is something to immerse oneself in a culture, in a people, in their ways of being together. I am always impressed to be in Kenya, by the sights, the sounds, the traditions of this beloved country.
And then too, my experience of the United States is that it is a land filled with countless generous people. One year, in our Great Recession, I recall getting ready for our annual fundraising dinner in the Twin Cities of Minnesota; it is always a time filled with much work and even concern that we will manage to get enough donations. That year, small store owners were hurting financially here and yet many still donated items for our fundraising auction. I recall the people who instantly smiled, when asked for a donation for students and farmers in Kenya, as these people saw the opportunity to give – even to people very far away from them.
We all have things that we love about our homeland; I love my country, just as I love the red dirt paths in Kenya, the buoyantly joyful smiles there that greet both strangers and family, the spirit of resourcefulness and hope for their future. And I love in my own country the many smiles that say, “Yes, yes, yes, I am happy to give to your work at The Mama Ada Foundation.”
So asante sana, to our American friends today. You have entertained angels.