Monday, January 20, 2014
How's Africa? (What Not to Ask a Missionary)
No, you did NOT just ask me how a whole continent is doing, did you? What do I say?
This is a really tough question to answer. There's so much to say, and the person asking might not really be interested, or is asking just in passing, else they wouldn't have just asked how a whole continent of more than 50 countries is doing. It's like saying, not just, "How's the USA?", but "How's North America?"
So one day for fun, we, with our teammates, bandied around some fun facetious responses to our favorite question so that next time, we'd be prepared--not giving a slack-jawed, deer-in-the-headlights look.
Question: "How's Africa?"
"Fine, how are you?"
"Would you like a long or short answer to that?"
"Do you really want to get into this?"
"Well, Africa is a continent of over 50 countries and a billion people, so I'm not sure where to start."
"One of Africa's countries, Zimbabwe, is one of the poorest countries in the world with a corrupt, crazy dictator who will not give up control. Other countries are Muslim and do not allow evangelism. So I guess if you count them, Africa's not doing so great. Pass the butter, please."
"Similar in a lot of ways to America."
"Bad. But we're trying."
"Filled with churches that love money more than Jesus."
Bonus. (with a kind smile) "How can I possibly answer such a huge question?"
Fellow missionaries, have you gotten this question? What have you said? (or wanted to say) :)