The Day God Visits Africa
Does God Live In Africa?
It is a fixed human trait to be overly optimistic.
I have heard it said that God lives in Africa, and occasionally visits Europe and America. Is this comical rendition something we Africans believe, or we serenade such lines in flattering jest? Perhaps the reverse may be true. However, at present, Africa seriously needs a visitation from the Lord.
As I have argued in the past, and you may agree, there are many paths we may choose to tread as a means of fixing the issues of our continent. While we may follow a forceful blast of models and policies as our preferred route of escape from our enlarging misery; I will never rule out divine portals as a fragrant course worth considering. It may not be everyone's belief, but it is one that I firmly and unflinchingly believe is a puissant route out of our current predicament. Yes, call me mad, but Africa needs a divine visitation. Are you laughing?
In truth, we may differ on the method, but we are likely to converge on the grounds that we definitely need a practical change in our failing and flagging fortunes.
Joining Voluntary Slave Ships
In one biblical account, the story is quite poignant, and the correlation to our story as a continent is undeniable. It must perforce pique our pallid interest.
"Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons" (Ruth1:1).
Why do the best minds leave the shores of Africa in search of supposed greener pastures? The answer is clear from above. Why do weak people risk their fragile lives trying to cross the rude desert? It's the same reason, as shown above. Sadly, the continent has been drained, and it's now bereft of truly Homeric figures who can scintillate our crepuscular prospects with enthralling sparkle and progress. Ironically, these same gems are shinning incessantly in adorning the galaxies of already developed economies.
This is not an apology for people to leave the shores, but we are creatures of comfort, and we go where we can be comfortable (or believe we will be comfortable). There is ample corroboration for this transparent view: Why are certain embassies in our countries always packed before the crack of dawn? Why do people wait all night only to be refused a visa just before the day's twilight; not to talk about the significant investments made to even secure an interview? And why is visa racketeering, aided by equally corrupt people in diplomatic offices, such a lucrative path to amass filthy lucre?
The answers to the questions above and several others, stem from the truth that conditions on our shores are simply unbearable for many, who continue to summon and tax all their wily powers for an imminent escape. We may not even mention how many of our people went on a visit (or to represent our countries in games), and never returned. Perhaps we should also highlight how foreign governments rake in millions from our sons and daughters who have to keep renewing visas to remain overseas.
A piercing question demands your best answer: Why, for example, will a bank manager in Africa be willing to go, and do cleaning or security in developed countries? Does it make much sense, thinking in terms of dignity, and not economics? Perhaps not to you,but these are not stupid people. In fact, the irresistible lure of a better life teases them beyond belief and restraint.
How much revenue is amassed by diplomatic offices from all the fees we cough out, so we can travel (and slave) in distant lands, and not to mention the cut of middle men? Nonetheless, anybody who thinks they can rail on those who want to leave the shores, will perhaps please some, but will persuade very few, if any. For, alas and alack, the Elimelechs and the Naomis, together with their children will continue to file out in droves, as long as the "famine" continues.
People Will Return Home When God Visits Africa
A brain drain is not a fluke of nature; it is a human response to economic inefficiencies and inequalities. Thus, we need a solid solution. Yes, something must happen to stop the spiral decline. Talking and shouting will do very little. In my view, we need a divine visitation like it occurred in the referenced text. We learn, "Then [Naomi] arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the LORD had visited his people in giving them bread" (Ruth 1:6).
On the day that God visits Africa like He did in the preceding text, many of her scattered children struggling in the diaspora like Noami struggled in Moab, will return to the shores of this wonderful continent. Yes, they will not need to be deported, they will come by themselves. After all, in that biblical account, Naomi and her husband left Bethlehem to seek greener pastures abroad. And today, like has been mentioned earlier, many continue to queue in their haste to flee the withering scorn of poverty within our borders.
A belief in divine visitation is sound, as the variables and indices do not look too propitious. Thus, while other developed continents will perhaps laugh at such a suggestion, divine intervention may very well embody Africa's practical hope.
Reflecting on the text above, we are not told what contributed to the famine, but if past precedent is anything to go by, then for our application, it is the sins of our leaders, as well as we the people on the continent—our greed, our corruption etc—that has resulted in this situation; and it is the same that continues to ensure our laggard status; just as for the people of Israel, it was always their sins that impoverished them (Judges 6:1-6; 2:11; 3:7; 3:12; 4:1; 10:6-7; 13:1).
Yet, for Hannah (a barren woman), also from the Scriptures, we discover something pleasant: "And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bare three sons and two daughters" (1 Samuel 2:21).
Let those who are religious seize the charge and continue to believe and pray that God will soon visit Africa. For "Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it: thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water: thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provided for it" (Psalm 65:9).
For all our failing efforts at transformation, being lent a divine hand should bestead our progress. We could very well do with God visiting this vast continent. The psalmist writes from Psalm 59:5: "Thou therefore, O LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel, awake to visit all the heathen: be not merciful to any wicked transgressors. Selah." Yes, may the Lord remove those that "turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless!" (Isaiah 10:2).
Such divine visitation will fall upon our land like delayed rain to a parched field. For, despite the abundant resources that God has blessed Africa with, to a proven extent, we are "a people robbed and spoiled; [we] are all of [us] snared in holes, and [we] are hid in prison houses: [we] are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore" (Isaiah 42:22). Sadly, our leaders "have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully" (Ezekiel 22:29).
It is imperative that we continue to do what is within our human power and ability, but we must never rule out the need for divine visitation in the affairs of the continent. In truth, it might just prove the pivot on which we impressively swing from lasting predicament to our long overdue promised land.
I shall return with my talking drums!
Angelina K. Morrison is interested in national development, true religion, and self-improvement. She enjoys thinking, and writes stories only when the muse grips her. Her first short story Gravellatina, is a breathtaking five-part gripping series available now at Amazon. You can email her at [email protected], or find her at www.angelinakmorrison.wordpress.com or Facebook page.
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