Wednesday, October 30, 2019

I am an African man...

[I have been stuck on this for three days, so I am just going to post it.]

The Director of the NGO in Kenya, the work of which I have been watching, said that in one of his commentaries.  It resonated with me immediately.

I understood what he meant for himself, because I lived in Africa.  Life is different there.  Culture is different.  You cannot expect Africans to change their culture to accommodate theirs!  No!  You have to adjust your behavior and actions to respect the culture of the country in which you are, when living as an ex-patriot around the world.  So very many people do NOT understand this.

In his case, he was explaining the utter failure of the visit of a viewer of his work from America.  She came there and jumped right in with demanding documentation of his organization and its work.  She snuck around and gathered information herself.  And she questioned his integrity and accused him of improper behavior.  He was greatly offended and angry.  After telling her so, he shut down completely and asked her to leave.

As a man in Africa, he is the authority.  Women, if under his care, are to be director by him and protected by him.  You can see him do both on the videos, oft coming to the defense of the technicians removing the sandflies from the skin.  Woman certainly do not take authority over men, especially a stranger and a foreigner whom he did not know well.  Here, this woman came in the guise of a friend and set about proving he was a scam artist who abuses and manipulates victims for his own gain.  She even ultimately told the world this and set about destroying his NGO.

He explained that had she come and lived in Africa, working by his side and eating and sleeping with those who are suffering, he would have ultimately listened to any concerns or suggestions that he had.  But, given that he was an African man, she ran roughshod over his culture and disrespected him and his culture.  She was a bully and a liar.

She really did lie.

He and his organization was doing their work before he learned of video monetization and sought financial support from viewers around the world.  They also continued his work after she destroyed his reputation, sowed the seeds of doubt into listeners, left her lies on the Internet for all to find, and essentially cut off the bulk of the revenue that had allowed his organization to expand many times over its original footprint.  He also is a man of faith and great integrity.

Where are his houses and his cars?
Where are the luxurious items he would have bought?
Where are his hidden bank accounts?

I, myself, fell victim to her lies, because you cannot prove her the liar by Googling him or his organization.  When working on a shoestring budget in the poorest parts of Kenya, there is little money for a comprehensive administrative staff and Internet presence.

Besides, as an African man, the Director is not required to defend himself.

Ultimately, I listened to him.
I spent hours and hours viewing his organization's work.
And I considered who he is and his culture.

I have been greatly blessed by his opinions and observations about life and people.  I have reveled in what he has to say about the Bible and faith.  For me, I think he speaks of his faith in a way that I can understand, even though I cannot fathom how he does so, how he walks in it.  I spend time praying for the work of his organization, the staff, and the victims, both in these older videos and in the present. It is always good to be moved to and to spend time in prayer.

So, why am I blogging about this?  Because I want to cry out to the world, "I am _________"!

But what am I?  Not the question I ask myself.  But what do I want to cry out to the world?

  • I am someone with chronic illness and chronic pain who is living the chronic life.  
  • I am someone whose body is attacking itself.  
  • I am someone who is constantly facing loss and, therefore, constantly grieving.
  • I am a middle aged woman.  
  • I am someone who lives with PTSD.  
  • I am a Christian who doubts more than anyone in the history of mankind, but loves the Word of God and the Christian Book of Concord passionately and reads both every day.  
  • I am a chief advocate of praying the Psalter.  

But how in the world do I fit that in "I am an African Man."

See me.  
Hear me.
Learn about me.  
Respect me by respecting the culture that is my life.


No comments: