Monday, February 11, 2019


I was a bit hesitant about bringing the little dress to the orphanage in Kenya. Someone from our church had given it to me to bring, but it seemed a bit too fancy. And I only had one. I did not have one for every girl in the orphanage, and I did not want to create envy among the children.

I told this to the lady who gave the dress to me to bring for the orphans. Nevertheless, there was something about the spirit in which she gave it that caused me to want to take the dress along with me. I did so on this last trip.

Somewhat timidly, I showed the dress to Pastor Joel. I explained to him the situation, and simply told him that I did not know what to do with the dress, so I was giving it to him to decide.

The following day, Pastor Joel told me that when they had met as the staff of the orphanage, they talked about it. “We decided to give the dress to Vivian,” he told me.

I do not know the reasons that they decided in this way. When I gave the dress to Joel, I did not give him any preference of what they should do. I was just glad to hand off this dilemma to someone else.

The people do know that Vivian is also the name of my wife, whom they call their “Mum,” but they told me that this was not the reason. I also had told Joel that it was not my Vivian who had given me the dress, but someone else from our church. I frankly do not think it had anything to do with the name, but I did not ask questions. It was their decision.

Later that day when all the children had gathered after school, and before the crowd of all the children, two of the pastors made a presentation of this gift to little Vivian. Every gift seems to be given in this way. They make a little performance of bestowment when they are given. This one was a new dress for Vivian Mosoti.

I later thanked the pastors for doing this, and then I confided in them the same doubts that I had expressed to the woman from our church.

“I did not want to create envy among the children,” I said to them.

“What is envy?” Pastor Joel asked.

“Envy is when one child receives something that the other children wish they had, and they begin to resent the one who did receive it.”

Joel gave a little laugh. “Oh, that happens in the world,” he responded. “But it does not happen in the church.”

I thought to myself but did not say out loud, “You do not know the church in America.”
You can learn your life lessons from preachers with huge churches and even bigger homes, if you like—the ones who have gone to school for effective communication.

I still prefer to learn mine from the humble of the earth.

“But the humble will inherit the land, and will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.” Psalm 37:11

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