A Reminder

“What is that thing?”

That was my wife’s first question as I pulled out the strange and dirty object out of my bag upon returning from Africa.

“It’s a gift,” I said. It didn’t look like any gift I received before. It wasn’t for my birthday. It wasn’t neatly wrapped or bought at a mall.

But this gift probably means more to me than anything I’ve received before and given to me by a friend in Africa. It was presented to our Blood:Water team after we spent the afternoon seeing the incredible progress my friend and the group of Community Health Promoters he leads in Zambia have made in helping to bring clean water, sanitation and hygiene programs to his neighbors.

So now you are asking, “What is that thing?”

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Simply put, it’s a gourd with a hole cut in it. And it’s one of the few material possessions owned by my friend in this poor community. But for me, it’s more than a gift.

For me, it’s a reminder.

It’s a reminder that it’s not the value of the parts that make a gift but the value you place on the person giving it.

It’s a reminder that we are asked to give away those things in which we’ve been entrusted. Nothing is ours forever.

And it’s a reminder that there is a friend in Africa working to make his community stronger, healthier and more caring. The important things that can last forever.  

And it’s a reminder that I need to be doing the same thing.

What do you need to be reminded of today?