01 March 2011

My name is not mzungu; please call me Deb

My friend, Ken - who is the manager of Harvest Secondary School - requested that I do a 90-minute talk to the 50+ students and 7 staff members on the final day before their mid-term break. The title of my talk was, "My name is not mzungu!"

My outline was as follows:
  1. Who I am - I introduced my kids and grandkids (with photos), explained what God has me doing in Kenya, and told about why I've had my mud hut for the past 8.5 years.
  2. Who I am not - I dispelled some of the many very wrong assumptions about me based solely on the color of my skin. I informed them that I don't do the same things as other white missionaries.
  3. Prejudice - We discussed the meaning - pre-judging - and looked up Scriptures about rumors and gossip. I informed them that - contrary to popular belief - I am NOT the sponsor of the school.
  4. Uniqueness - God made each one of us different; we should not be lumped into large categories based on our race, gender, if they're from the village, etc. We looked up Scripture passages that illustrate how God knows each one of us by name.
  5. Renew your mind - I challenged them to think in new ways after hearing my talk and to transform their thinking about white folks. Again, we looked up several Scriptures to support my point.

The students opened their weekly Christian Union session with singing

The final verse of Scripture we looked at was Proverbs 18:15 (in the New Living Translation) -
Intelligent people are always open to new ideas.
In fact, they look for them.

During the question-and-answer portion of the afternoon, I treated everyone to soda and biscuits. It was a way to celebrate me having my mud hut on the compound for the past several years. 

Purchasing and loading the crates of soda at Matunda market

Ken (the new director) and his wife, Joan, are friends of mine


Anonymous said...

Great topic to talk on! I loved the photos of you in your very typical "Deb" stances ... reminds me so much of Grandpa and Greg!

Ellen Thompson said...

I can see that your outline was well thought out - I enjoyed reading it and wish I could have heard how you "fleshed it out".

I saw your Mom last week at a Valentine Luncheon that the Prime Timers Sun. Sun School class had - it was a week late. Vivian Meneely brought her. I kept looking at her and knew that I should know her. Later we visited a bit.

You certainly left your mud hut compound in good condition. Will someone else soon be a new occupant?

Thanks for your blog. I really enjoy it.

Ellen Thompson

Anonymous said...

Fantastic. Wish I could have heard the talk. I'm sharing this on facebook right now! God bless. -ryan