You have never experienced darkness until you come to Africa. With very little electricity, when the sun goes down, darkness is thick. There are times even standing outside under the moon you cannot see your hand in front of your face. I often joke with my guard out in Bukeleba that I don’t even know why he guards me because he couldn’t see anything coming at us until it has already attacked us. I am convinced that African’s have cat-like vision and can see at night, unlike us Americans.
Tonight as I was driving back into town from the Babies home it was that eerie darkness everywhere. I was amazed though that far in the distance I would see a tiny light and that would be the one candle burning for a family as they gathered in their hut to have dinner. One candle… burning as I would drive by and try to imagine what living this life would be like. I can’t even begin to imagine. Huddled around either a fire or candle in a mud hut, with almost 12 people in the little small space all needing light.
I had hired a car tonight and my driver had a random cd playing. I mean everything from the song “Sexual Healing” to the Titanic theme song by my guilty pleasure, Celine Dion and some random Christian songs. I was just thinking about my life living in this darkness and an old school Christian song that came out when Christian music was in my opinion super cheesy but every so once in awhile you would get a good one like, Go Light Your World, came on. The chorus says this…
Carry your candle, run to the darkness. Seek out the helpless, confused and torn. Hold out your candle for all to see it. Take your candle and go light your world.
And in that dark car ride home, on the orange road in the middle of no where in Uganda, I saw a clear picture of a candle in a dark world. I love how the song says RUN to the darkness not walk or tread carefully into the dark. Preparing for this 3 months I treaded carefully and was scared of the darkness, which was the unknown. I definitely did not run at times to get to this dark place. But now after being here, I see the need to run. There is such a fight in the spiritual realm here; babies are being sacrificed to demons because their parents believe they will become rich. Husbands have 4 wives with children that are suffering from a dysfunctional home. HIV runs rampant. Children are dying by the second just because they lack food. Diseases that are easily treated and not terminal at home are taking lives here. It is dark here in Africa.
One little flame here though has dozens of people gathered around.
It is dark in America too. I can think of many dark places and how we have left other Christians to take the Gospel to the dark places because “some people are called to go and others are just called to support”. Not true. We have all been called to the dark places. We have all been created by God, saved from our sins, and blessed by God to make his glory known in all of the world. Where is your dark place that the Lord is calling you to run to not walk?
I think we all have the desire in us to impact the world, if not the world at large but the world around us. That desire is strategically placed by our Creator. As David Platt states, “Regardless of what country we live in, what skills we posses, what kind of education we have, or what kind of salary we make, Jesus has commanded each of us to make disciples, and this is the means by which we will impact the world. Indeed, Jesus has invited us to join with Him in the surprisingly simple journey of spreading the gospel to all nations by spending our lives for the good of others and the glory of God”.
A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle. You will lose nothing by taking your candle into the darkness. One candle, one flame can light a forest fire.