Rick Gregory, Writer

Translating Messages From Heads To Hearts

“Africance” – September 28, 2005

Ah, so you wonder what the name means, do you? Well, a couple years ago, Sherry and I decided that the Great American Dream wasn’t so dreamy for us. We began to ask questions . . . questions like, “Why do we in America have so much and those in the developing world have so little? Was it simply luck that we were born here and ‘they’ were born there?” Is material prosperity God’s blessing? If so, then is poverty the withholding of His blessing? If the worldwide Church is His Body and those in other parts of the world (marginalized and in poverty)�are part of His family, doesn’t that mean they are also part of MY family? Of course that assumes I am part of His family as well . . . Oh and here’s the one that really got us, “What part does (or should) my faith play as I contemplate the answers to these questions?”

Yikes! Gets a bit uncomfortable, doesn’t it? We began to see that there is a direct correlation between what we say we believe – and what our lives�look like �on a daily basis.�We came to the conclusion that we said we�followed Jesus and said were part of His family and we did lots of the things Christians in America do . . . but our lives didn’t look much different than those who made no such claim! Until this point of realization, we were simply doing what everyone else we knew was doing . . . making as much money as we could and planning for “the golden years” when we’d be able to “enjoy the fruits of our labor.” We maybe felt bad about those struggling “over there somewhere,” but our focus was inward and upon ourselves. We hadn’t recognized that the “blessings”�we had received from Him were not simply for us to consume – but to share – and to share with those other parts of the Family – of The Body – who had need where we had abundance. Now, let me confess here. I didn’t want to share! I didn’t want to disrupt my “comfort.” But�Sherry and I both�began to see�our selfishness and “what�we wanted” as inconsistent with the faith�He described in the Bible. So what to do?

We determined to change our lives to “look like” those in which decisions are made on the basis of a worldview which takes into account the rest of the world – not just our little slice of it. We began living for significance rather than success. This past summer, that process took us to Africa, and after some further training will take us back there again. So, the name “Africance” is simply a way for us to describe living for significance in Africa!