TIA (this is Africa… this is America)

Today is one of those days that just makes me sad.  I don’t really know how to write in this moment.  I went to the SA Home Affairs offices today with our friend Busi.  I didn’t realize it today (and I love to learn through experience… so it was good), that there are multiple SA Home Affairs offices.  The first one we went to was the office for the refugees.  When we got there, my heart broke deeply for SA.

About 40-50 refugees from all over Africa, India, and China were trying to force their way in.  The problem though, was that the gate was locked and the guards were on power trips.  If you bribed the right amount, you got in.  If you tried to squeeze your way through the gate, you got hit upside the head with a billy club.  Then here I come, the only white guy there, and look about three security guards in the eye.  Two of them just blow me off completely.  Then the third guy that came up to me, finally listened to me (I know he figured, “he’s an American, this is a sweet opportunity to rip off a sucker”).  When I told him that I just wanted the forms for our Visa renewals, he walked away.  He came back a few moments later and told me to go to another building.

All this time, I was so hurt in my heart for what I was seeing.  Here are all these people fleeing their country because of persecution only to be greeted with it here.  And when I came home this afternoon, I got on Facebook to check some of my emails and saw all kinds of people had updated their statuses indicating that they were either ecstatic about Obama or convinced that the country was doomed.  In that moment I realized how small my worldview has been up until today.  Obama, McCain… I know it’s important which way we go with that, but what stops the bleeding from the billy club to the head?

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