Greetings from Ghana!
Alice and I arrived to a very warm welcome African greeting. Being here reminds me how alive and thriving the church is in the southern hemisphere. I hope to bring that spirit back with me!
There is a lot of good discussion about the troubles and difficulties facing the youth of Africa. One of the biggest problems is young people are disillusioned with participating in politics because they say all politicians are corrupt. I think this is true for many young people in the United States as well. Voting is one very important part of our civic duty, but it is not the only way we can work for change in the world. Jesus often held people in places in authority accountable by pointing out how they failed to care for those on the edges of society. Jesus also taught that our hope and salvation comes from God through helping and caring for our neighbors and family members in stories like the Good Samaritan in Luke 10.
Care for others is a foundational principle in many African cultures. They call it ‘Ubuntu’ which is an ancient African word meaning 'humanity to others'. It is often described as reminding us that 'I am what I am because of who we all are'. Africans have been able to endure many hardships because of their commitment to community. I am inspired by this communal care and wonder how we can continue to learn from our Christian siblings from the southern hemisphere.
As we move ever closer to Advent, I pray we embody the love for one another taught to us by our coming Lord and savior, Jesus Christ. Jesus loves us so much that he left heaven behind that we might better understand what it means to care for each other even unto death.
Picture: Members from the United States delegation from the ELCA to the 1st All African Youth Congress