The Nissan Terrano crept, tossing and turning, through the twisting rustic roads. It glided past an Africa village with a dozen or so weather-beaten huts, sporting dried grass covered roofs. The ocean—with rocks protruding and waves crashing—served as its only backdrop. A few scattered sheep scurried for cover at the sound of the approaching vehicle’s engine. A tiny boy, perhaps three or four years old, naked apart from a dirty pair of stained briefs, roused and raced from his perch on a nearby tree trunk. He boldly and briskly ran gleefully towards us. He was all smiles; waving wildly. With his free hand he firmly grasped an unusual, unique treasure; a red convertible car. A real toy; not one fashioned from a discarded tin can. Happily, he extended it toward us; shouting friendly words in his local dialect. He arrested my attention. I longed to understand what he was saying. Interpretation was not a luxury so I imagined. Perhaps, he wanted us, the six foreigners tightly packed in the huge grey machine to know that he had a car too. Or, that he had a dream that one day he would grow up and drive a vehicle similar to ours. I will never really know. Such was my short-lived meeting with a merry miniature visionary. You see, everyone dreams. Everyone wants a better future. This thinking was encapsulated in a billboard I saw today. It pictured a boy playing soccer in his neighborhood. The potent words read, “Twelve-year-old Kofi; nation’s best striker, 2022. Yes, we believe in the future.”
We all believe in the future. Yet, too many meander through life’s twisting roads, tossing and turning, with no direction and—in the end—no enduring legacy. What a tragedy to live and leave without anyone noticing that you ever existed. A Middle Eastern Blessing says, “When you were born, you cried, and the world rejoiced. May you live your life so that when you die, the world will cry, and you will rejoice.”
Dear friends and former leaders in Africa, John Paul and June Hughes sent me these words, in a card, on my 50th birthday: “Just think, you’re here not by chance, but by God’s choosing. His hand formed you and made you the person you are. He compares you to no one else. You are one of a kind. You lack nothing that His grace can’t give you. He has allowed you to be here at this time in history to fulfill His special purpose for this generation” (Roy Lessin). Half a century, and climbing, I still possess a dream to reach our world. My relentless dream is to entrust, empower, and equip the next generation. I still dream of taking God’s Word to the world, touching people, transmitting truth, and transforming nations. I want to teach others so they can reach their own people. It’s all I ever wanted!