(As Jason travels back to Rwanda, we are pleased to present this guest post from Wendy Raffaeli—enjoy!)
Recently, I was thinking about a friend who works for a bath fixtures company. You know, the companies who design the toilets we use every day, among other things. She used to think that designing toilets wasn’t very “kingdom-oriented” work and wondered why she was there. What was God’s purpose in having her work 40 hours a week to that end?
Back in 2018, when my family and I first traveled to a third-world country, I can tell you that “toilet” issues were towards the top of the list of my young daughter’s concerns. What kind of facilities would we have to use when we were out visiting our sponsored children in rural Uganda? How would she know what to do? What if she didn’t like them? You can imagine, right?
It might seem trivial, but hygiene is important! Poor hygiene can, and does, cause diseases and death to many thousands of people every year. If we’ve learned anything in 2020, it’s that germs matter. Having a place to wash our hands is important. And sewage that ends up in oceans, rivers or around dwellings is not only unpleasant, but also hazardous to our health and the environment. 60 Minutes recently aired a news segment on raw sewage from Tijuana, Mexico that is literally flowing through a river in southern California and right out into the ocean. As we watched it, my husband and I were horrified! How can this be happening? And yet, it does.
So, I think a fresh perspective (pun intended!) is in order! God created our bodies, and taking care of them, the environment and our health is important, not trivial.
Hope Haven Rwanda has restrooms for our students, faculty and staff that are connected to our on-site well and have been plumbed to a septic system since they were installed. This means our students not only come to Hope Haven to learn languages, math, science and Bible teachings, they also learn how to use plumbing fixtures. It may seem that they would already know this, but most of our students live in four-wall mud homes without electricity or running water. They walk to the well each morning to haul jerrycans of water back to their homes for that day’s use before they head to school. The restroom facilities and handwashing sinks are a luxury to them – one they don’t take for granted.
Recently, in preparation for expanding Hope Haven’s capacity, we built a waste treatment facility at the southern edge of our campus. This facility will soon take the place of the septic system currently being used for the nursery and primary campus. It will also provide increased capacity for the secondary school and dormitories once they are built. What an amazing blessing to be able to construct this facility! We don’t take it for granted. It is very useful, quite necessary, and we are blessed to have it.
So, I would encourage you, in the vein of Colossians 3:23 that “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” Don’t trivialize your work. If God called you to do it, thank him for the privilege of work, and be a blessing through it!
Who can you encourage in their work today?