A LONG Walk in Africa!

The Disney movie, WALL-E, gave us a humorous (and a bit scary) view of what our future might be like. “With our all-access hoverchairs, even grandma can join the fun! There’s no need to walk!”  Sadly, walking is an activity that we Americans do less and less.  Americans walk an average of 5000 steps a day (about 2.5 miles).  On the average, Americans walk less than all the other major industrialized nations.  However, the average daily walking distance per person per day in the major industrialized nations doesn’t come anywhere close to the average per person per day walking in under-developped and developing countries.  Take for example, an average women in West Africa.  To merely get water for her family, she walks between 5 and 10 miles per day!  It’s hard for us to imagine, isn’t it?  Oh, and when this average African women walks, remember that she is carrying an average of 40 lbs of water on her head!  Doesn’t that make you stop and think?

Pastor Daniel Tieh is one of our Praise International Country Leaders in Mali.  He oversees a group of pastors whom Praise International assists.  Daniel and his wife, Maye, have 7 children. 

Daniel says that his pastors walk miles and miles every day in order to share Christ in every village.  When they lead people to Christ in these villages, they return regularly to disciple and teach them in the Word.  As those Christians grow, they immediately look for individuals in each village whom they can train for leadership.  All of this involves walking miles and miles every single day!  They do this willingly because they have been called by God to do this.  Also, it is common for everybody to walk for miles. It’s all in a days work.  But it is not easy.

I was reading recently in the gospel of John.  Thinking about what Daniel said about the Malian pastors walking for miles and miles to evangelize nearby villages, it dawned on me in a new way how much Jesus and his disciples walked.  For example, after Christ’s resurrection, which was in Jerusalem, he had arranged for his disciples to meet him at the Sea of Galilee.  No problem.  See you there!  Wait a minute!  The Sea of Galilee is about 115 miles away from Jerusalem!!!  That distance would take two long days traveling by foot!  Doesn’t that make you stop and think?  It makes me appreciate the measly 36 minutes it takes me to travel 25 miles to the Praise Office every day!

Last week Pastor Tieh told us that if the pastor had a little motorcycle, it would help them enormously.  That way, the pastor, who is whole-heartedly devoted to accomplishing the Great Commision, could use his time and energy more effectively, able to share Christ with and teach His Word to more villagers in more villages, and STILL have enough time to be with his very hard-working wife and his little children.  Hmmm, if his wife walks 6-10 miles per day to fetch water for the family, maybe the pastor would let his wife use the motorcycle from time to time as well.  :o)

If you would like to and are able to make a donation toward a motorcycle for Pastor Daniel Tieh and his pastors, go to Praise International.  An inexpensive motorcycle in Mali would cost $700 to $800.  We also have a list of Malian pastors who would be extremely blessed to receive a $35/month sponsorship from you.  Your donation of $35/month will help a national pastor feed his family.  It may also help him send his children to school. In a great deal of African countries, students have to bring a certain sum of money to school, every day or every week, in order attend school.  If they don’t have this money, these kids are sent back home.  It is very important that the pastor’s kids go to school. Your sponsorship can help the children of our pastors to go to school.  If you can sponsor a Malian pastor today, go to Praise International.  Thank you in advance.  Oh, and why don’t you take a walk today? :o)