One of the hardest parts about praying for the world is not having a name.
I give you a name. Amanda.
Amanda is my cousin. I’m the third oldest of 36 first cousins on my mom’s side, and Amanda’s one of them. We’ve got a shared esteem for Shane Claiborne and going and doing. She’s a bit more literal: she’s a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa.
Or, she was in Africa, until last week when the Peace Corps pulled its volunteers in her region because of the threat of ebola.
My first thought was “She must be devastated to have to leave,” because in volunteering, you commit to living in huts in remote places with less-than-first-world conditions. You commit to loving your neighbor, to learning a new language, to dealing with stomach bugs and weird bugs. You commit. She’s all in on that.
As I “liked” the status of hearing she was returning to America — because I prayed for the plane, her parents, her — I noticed the reaction others had to the news was … a little different? Some were so glad she was safe. On national sites, people were saying worse. Eep.
Safe, yes. I’m praising God she doesn’t have ebola. But I’m also thanking God that she is using the opportunity to remind us whom we should be praying for — not simply the college-educated woman on a plane out, but too the Guineans there, to whom she’ll hopefully return soon. Whom she loves. Whom she’s living with.
She says it better than I, here. Anyhow, when you pray for the world, would you pray for her friends in Guinea? And for understanding? Me too.