Tell Me Again About Your First-World Problems

by | Oct 14, 2015 | Blogs, Fire in My Bones

Americans are blessed in so many ways, and we should be the most thankful people on earth. But we quickly show our ingratitude when our Internet signal gets weak or when our iTunes download takes too long. Our first-world “problems” are pitiful. We complain of cramped seating on planes when only a tiny percentage of the world’s population has ever flown.

I’m not pointing the finger at everyone else. I’ve been guilty of whining about silly stuff that doesn’t belong in the problem category. So God sends people into my life to remind me about the real world.

This week I spent six days with my friend Peace Pound from Lilongwe, Malawi. This year, at age 48, he took his first trip on an airplane. He is the first man from his village to visit the United States.

Peace was raised in a nominally Muslim family. His father died when he was three, so his mother had to take care of him and his seven siblings. They lived in a one-room hut with a thatched roof, and they usually ate nothing but msima, a corn porridge, and fish they caught from Lake Malawi. Occasionally he was fortunate enough to eat some goat meat. He slept on a mat made of palm leaves.

When he was a child, Peace only had one pair of shorts to wear—and no underwear. The shorts were tattered from repetitive use. He remembers once washing his shorts to rid them of lice and then hanging them next to the fireplace to dry. When he woke up the next day the shorts had burned to ashes, so a friend gave him an extra pair—until the friend’s mother found out and reclaimed the clothing. He had to wear a vegetable sack to cover himself.

Peace’s family had no electricity and no running water. He bathed in the lake, his mother washed clothes in the lake, and he drank his water from the same lake. He did not have a toothbrush or toothpaste, so he used sand to clean his teeth. He and his brothers and sisters were not allowed to attend school because local Muslim elders said pork was served to the students. So Peace never learned to read or write.

As a child, Peace had no toys, no bike and certainly no video games. He and his friends would act out dramas to entertain themselves. Often they asked Peace to pretend he was John Chilembwe, a national hero who challenged British rule in Malawi after he was educated in the United States.

Peace had little access to medical care, so if he got sick his mother would visit a local herbalist to buy a cheap remedy. One day his eyes got infected so his mother tied a rag around his head to keep his eyes from popping out of his head. He cannot see out of his left eye today. He also walks with a pronounced limp because of a serious car accident that put him in the hospital for more than three years.

After such a difficult life, Peace heard the gospel 20 years ago and he gave his life to Jesus. He made a living (less than 50 cents a month) herding goats. He eventually left that job to help his local church in Lilongwe with evangelism.

Peace wanted to go to Bible college, but that seemed impossible because he was illiterate. “I decided to pray like Moses, that God would give me an Aaron to help me,” Peace said. Then God opened up the door for him to attend a theological school in Zimbabwe, and a friend there translated the lessons from English to Peace’s native Chichewa language. He took his exams orally.

In 1996 he graduated with a degree in biblical studies. He is the first man from his village to get a diploma.

He got his first pair of shoes when he was 26. He got his first phone three years ago.

Today, Peace has planted more than 10 churches, including a congregation in neighboring Mozambique that has grown to more than 300 members, and another in Zambia. He has never owned a car, a bicycle or a horse (he says “horses are for very rich people”). He takes a bus to do his mission work, or walks up to 10 miles to reach local churches.

Once, Muslims who didn’t want Peace to bring the gospel to their village beat him up. But opposition has never stopped him. And when I visited Kenya six years ago, Peace rode on a bus for four days to meet me—so that he could ask me to come to his country to preach.

I took my first trip to Malawi in 2013 and will return there next year. On my next trip I hope I will visit the lakeside village where a poor African boy in tattered clothes dreamed of coming to America. His story will always remind me that I have nothing to complain about. {eoa}

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

A Pastor’s Grace Shines After Carjacking

A Pastor’s Grace Shines After Carjacking

Parenting is not easy, and living in these tech-heavy times bring unique challenges unlike any other generation before it. Yet core, biblical principles do not change with the times, and ensuring a child is held accountable for their wrongdoing is paramount to...

Messianic Rabbi: For Crying Out Loud

Messianic Rabbi: For Crying Out Loud

The crossing of the Red Sea is one of the most powerful and miraculous events that we read about in the Bible. Just thinking about the millions of Israelites and the mixed multitude walking up to the sea with the Egyptian army chasing them. They had just experienced...

The Lord Says, ‘Don’t Speak Words of Self-Sabotage’

The Lord Says, ‘Don’t Speak Words of Self-Sabotage’

One of the most important things a Christian can learn is that our God is a God who speaks. He wants us to know we can hear His voice. Prophecy is the basis for an on-going relationship with God. It deepens our walk and releases God’s power in the earth. Here is a...

The Foul Smell of Rot From Washington DC

The Foul Smell of Rot From Washington DC

One of the enduring conceits of our time is that we still have a semi-functioning two-party system in American politics. Most people still don't believe their lying eyes. They can smell the rot in Washington, DC, as far away as Sitka, Alaska. But they have been so...

How Believers Can Work Together to Restore Pre-COVID America

How Believers Can Work Together to Restore Pre-COVID America

On April 16, 2021, I traveled to Tulsa, Oklahoma, at the request of a local business leader, Clay Clark. He asked me to speak at a conference focused on ending the COVID lockdowns. Clay is a business coach and entrepreneur who'd seen his clients' businesses devastated...

What Is Your Prophetic Warning?

What Is Your Prophetic Warning?

God wants to anoint you with His grace through your unique prophetic wiring to impact the body of Christ in the place He has called you! He will do that in as many diverse ways as there are people, personalities, and gift mixes across the face of the earth. I cannot...

The Lord Says, ‘It’s Payback Time’

The Lord Says, ‘It’s Payback Time’

If you’ve been following any of my recent posts, you’re probably aware that my husband and I are selling the property we’ve lived on for the past 21 years and buying a ranch. Interestingly, we have also been led to engage in three other real estate transactions at...

RECENT ARTICLES

Shawn Bolz Prophesies: Are Technological Advancements the Enemy’s or God’s?

There are technologies coming that just may be used by the enemy in the end times. Things like artificial wombs, getting chipped, augmented and virtual reality to name a few. First, I want to lay a...
Discerning False Prophets and Delusions with Mario Murillo

Discerning False Prophets and Delusions with Mario Murillo

My longtime friend Mario Murillo is providing a critical role in the body of Christ in speaking up against the wolves in sheep clothing. Matthew Henry said, "A traitor inside the camp is more dangerous than 1,000 persecutors outside the camp." Christians want to be...

Is America Destined to Become Like Sodom and Gomorrah?

Is America Destined to Become Like Sodom and Gomorrah?

Sodom and Gomorrah were real cities and real people lived there. These were notoriously sinful cities that God warned but eventually destroyed because of their wickedness (Gen. 19:24). These cities, infamous for their debauchery and homosexuality, are mentioned 23...

How to Get Rid of Guilt Forever

How to Get Rid of Guilt Forever

Are you bugged by a guilty conscience … carrying around baggage from a certain mistake or decision that produces feelings of regret or even self-loathing? We’ve all said or done things that we wish we could take back. And while it’s completely natural to grieve over a...

Pin It on Pinterest