Tuesday, February 13, 2007

There Are No Friends Here

Lost Boys of Sudan follows the lives of young African refugees who start life fresh in America having been crushed by the civil war in Sudan. These young men, most of whom are under 18 years old, struggled to survive in Africa where they faced lions and local militia—and they continue to struggle in America where they face loneliness and learning an entirely new way of life.

The documentary focuses on a group of boys who are relocated by the U.S. government into an apartment in Houston. After job training, several of the boys head into the workforce, trying to become self-supporting.

In one scene, Peter Kon Dut goes out to lunch with two coworkers from his factory job. Peter talks openly with them about his struggles in America. Over the lunch, Peter unveils deep and piercing insights into American culture—which are all the more fresh since he's only lived in America for one month. Over his first-ever hamburger, Peter says, "I see different things. Everybody is busy. You can't get friends. Time is money—but in Africa, there is no 'time is money.' Everybody is busy here. How am I going to find friends here? I feel like going back and saying, ‘There are no friends here.’” (Edited summary of Bill White, Paramont, CA for Preaching Today)

Notice the similarity of these passages early in Acts:

All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved (Acts 2:44-47).

All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. There were no needy persons among them. (Acts 4:32-34).

The church of Jerusalem made a concerted effort to live in unity and with a mutual concern. Though they would experience some problems later when the Hellenistic widows were being neglected, even then the problems were recognized and resolved in a wonderful fashion bringing about incredible results (Acts 6:1-7).

We should follow their example so that no one should ever come crushed by the world and say about their church experience, “I feel like going back and saying, ‘There are no friends here.”

The truth is, it happens. What will we do, what will you do, to ensure that no one will say that when they have been among us. That's Life at Work!

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