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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: light (05/24/04)

TITLE: Friendship
By Lisa Buchanan


Friends add sparks to your life. They help you light up the world. I live in a normal town with normal friends. They talk to me and I talk to them. I had a chance to go to Africa to visit some missionaries. I had a hard time leaving my friends even for a few weeks. I thought this light was real. Never the less, I went. I was lonely a little bit. I was enjoying Africa, but couldn't wait untill I got back. Then we got to the missionaries house. But the missionaries had children. And I realized what real friends were. I became closer to the MK's then my friends back at home. I replaced the artificial light with a real one. But time flew too fast, and soon I was on a plane to America, my home. I was united with my friends there and they told me the latest news. But I didn't care. I still loved them, but their conversation was meaningless. It was because I had known my African friends for 4 or 5 weeks, compared to my American friends for 3-4 years. Yet I had more meaningful conversation and time with my African ones. I was so tired of the facade that everyone put out. I still have the real light. I have one or two friends that I have that with. But my other ones I don't. And every time I get a letter or write one to my African friends I become sad. I miss them so much. I wait till I go back for it. I have discovered the real light. I have seen poverty and death around me. Yet, I prefere it to this artificial light. So I remain a prisoner to this place, saving so I can go back and enjoy the real light, instead of the U.S's artificial one.

Member Comments
Member Date
Linda Miller05/31/04
Lisa, I enjoyed your article but I think it might help if you were to "flesh out" your sentences alittle more. And a word about friendship: all friends have something to give and receive - try looking at all your friendships as worthwhile. God has a reason for every friendship you have - either as a giver or a receiver.
L.M. Lee05/31/04
nice way to approach the light of friendship in our lives
Julie Pisacane05/31/04
It is nice to learn how the African missionaries inspired you. Think how God might be leading you to inspire others, too. Thank you for sharing this part of your life with many.
Annette Agnello05/31/04
In the future you might want to define MK not everyone would know it was a missionary's kid. Your experiences were typical >> so tired of the facade that everyone put out<< You notice things when you come home like tap water, lights, etc.
Gary Sims05/31/04
Lisa - I agree with Linda's comments. God sends people into your life every day for a reason. Maybe the struggles in Africa seem more "real" but it is important to shine the light of friendship into the lives at home as well. The issues and interests your "state-side" friends are fake or unimportatn but salvation is a life or death matter for everyone, no matter where they live.

A little spent time reviewing, self-editing, and rewriting would have helped this article a lot.
Gary Sims05/31/04
(I need to take a bit of my own advice about editing before posting. I'll try again:) The issues and interests ofyour "state-side" friends may seem fake or unimportant but salvation is a life or death matter for everyone, no matter where they live.
Patricia Sheets05/31/04
Lisa, This article has a lot to say. Some elaboration and color would give it more body.
Marcell Billinghurst05/31/04
It is great to see how this experience made you value life more, and showed you what real friendship is. But don't lose sight of your old friendships. If you hide the light you have been given under a bush, how will anyone benefit. Share your experiences with your old friends and always remember, every friendship has something to offer, if we are willing to look.
Deborah Porter 05/31/04
Wow Lisa, fairly strong statement in that last sentence! I'm not even from the US, but I felt a real punch from that myself. Ouch.

Having said that though Lisa, I can well imagine why the visit with the Missionary family made such an impact. When you are with people who are living their lives in complete service to the Lord and making their enjoyment out of simple things, it does tend to make the more commercial lives of those of us in the west seem rather flippant by comparision. So I really do understand what you're saying and hope that you will be able to go back and spend time with these precious friends again.

As for writing style Lisa, you really need to break up these blocks of text with paragraphs. When one sentence just goes straight into another, a lot of good thoughts get lost or defused. Anyway, keep writing and growing in your skills. For His glory! With love, Deb
Melanie Kerr 06/01/04
I agree that sometimes, living in a country with so much, things have a tendency to become “meaningless”. It is a challenge to make conversations meaningful and real.
Melanie Kerr 06/01/04
B Price06/03/04
friendships comes in many different packages for many different reasons.
Yes friendship does add a spark to our lives.
thanks for sharing a part of your life with us.
I hope you get a chance to go back to Africa. Who knows GOD could be calling you to be there to be a missionary.
Or it could been a lesson to learn and to share with others what they have vs what others doesn"t have.
Listen to the LORD and HE will guide your path.
enjoyed the story.
Lynne Gaunt06/04/04
Neat experience. I hope you get to go back, but until them, let your light shine where you are!
Rachel Holmes06/06/04
Lisa, Debbie made a good point about your ending sentence. Remember, lovingly pointing out an issue which has come to your attention will garner more of a response then pointing a finger. Also, combining sentences will strengthen them.
I have been on mission trips to various places and, like you, had the opportunity to live with missionaries for a month. Although I made friendships with many people through the experiences, and though I saw a different views on life by different cultures, I wouldn't trade my three good American friends who support me, challenge me to live for God, and who help me to look at life differently then I might. God has blessed me by putting certain people in my life. Some have only been meant to be in it for a short time, but others have been there for me for many years. I thank God for each one of them.