This past month was amazing because the people we met had stories of lives which transformed us. A woman who had grown up in Kisumu, Africa had nothing. She was living in an apartment in the nineties for seven dollars a month and was paying too much. Her childhood had been filled with difficult times and the people in her village had experienced great hardship.
When she shared her story, I called Larry Jones formerly from FEED THE CHILDREN as the past founder to truly understand the pain of what she had endured in Africa. It was important for me to understand the culture of her tribe and to see deeper into the social and economic problems facing this part of the world. The more I learned from this great leader about Africa, the more I began to realize how blessed we are to live in America.
A few years ago, I had the great honor to volunteer my time for a film project through VERITAS MISSION FILM ASSOCIATION. This doesn't happen very often, but I was being paid do a large film and met a man whose life had been changed by Africa, Randy Hartley. He was a financial advisor and carried so many amazing stories about his beautiful daughter Andrea.
Randy told me the story of how his family had adopted Umahosa in Rwanda when she was young and this beautiful girl had a father in prison due to the genocide between the Tutsi and Hutu tribe there. Together, we went to Africa to help tell the story and we made a movie entitled, THROUGH THE VALLEY about the entire story. The Lord blessed this effort and for the first time, I saw Africa and it changed me.
There was a time in my life when I was younger, I would grow up in prejudice because making fun of people and comedy was a way I could mask not dealing with problems. However, this change in my life came face to face when I saw first hand, the graves of tens of thousands in Rwanda. 800,000 people will be killed in 100 days. Can you imagine?
It's impossible to describe to you how I feel about this continent, the beautiful people there and my heart toward this nation right now. After coaching 22 years with Bob Hoffman from the Mercer Bears, I have been in many huddles where the eyes and ears of many races have looked deep into my face and listened carefully. Now I ask myself, was I listening to them? Did I take time to learn their stories, to understand their past, present and future pain?
May I challenge you to do something different in your life? This Sunday, invite a family of another race to your home for lunch or dinner. Find an Asian, Chinese, Vietnamese, African, Sudanese, Norwegian, Scottish, Native American, Hispanic or any other race other than yours to come have a meal with your family? Martin Luther King said the most racist day of the week is on Sunday, during church.
We must stop this kind of backward thinking. Let us change the way we do everything and bring Christmas, our holidays and our family gatherings into the "family of man" get togethers. Don't think the same way about people, but truly embrace the family of man as God always intended. Get your hands dirty and get involved with missions and don't look back on helping others.
Give everything you have to bring the good news of the Gospel to those in need. This will make you uncomfotable and you will not feel "normal", but make this your new norm and stop the prejudice today.
We were so blessed to attend a worship service led by Michael W. Smith and CeCe Winans at the Bridgestone Arena this week in our home town of Nashville, Tennesssee. Prayers from the Hispanic Culture, the Chinese Culture, the Native American Culture and African Culture resounded with those who were present from every tribe and we learned to love God and worship TOGETHER. Please we need more events like this.
Africa thank you for changing me, my life and everything I believe in about you. Forgive me for not doing more and keep bringing stories we can help tell for non profits, for profits, for individuals and for every tribe so that the whole world will know the truth. The family of man has a story to tell and I sure hope we can tell as many stories as possible for many years to come.
God bless you,
Dr. Kevin McAfee
ADVOCATE - FAMILY OF MAN
Kevin McAfee is a filmmaker who writes for the purpose of inspiring others to make a difference in the world through faith in God and using the visual language of film. His blog shares the hopes of impacting culture, because his heart is in media missions and the church.