During a staff meeting this week we found ourselves hashing and re-hashing the results of Tuesday’s presidential election. We were cussing and discussing United States politics and election laws, health care and tax cuts, states’ rights and federal freedoms. Less than ten minutes into our conversation we were mercifully interrupted by a 54-second video, emailed to the church office by Silvance Okoth, the principal at the Alara School in Kenya.

He sent the video in order to thank the Central church for the 135 mosquito nets we purchased for them three weeks ago. He wanted to let us know that the young children and the school staff were now safe from the malaria-carrying mosquitoes that are infecting that whole region with disease and death. The $400 we sent them last month, he wanted us to know, were saving lives in that church and school community.

Most of the Pre-K through 4th grade students in the Alara School have lost loved ones and friends over the past year because of the malaria outbreak. Some of them have lost parents and grandparents; some of them have lost neighbors and playmates. Today they are receiving comfort and protection. They are no longer afraid, because we bought some mosquito nets. Tonight they are sleeping in peace, because we sent them $400.

What a powerful reminder of our focus as children of God. What an awakening to our mission as disciples of our Christ. Our Father is changing the world through self-giving love and sacrificial service. He’s showing mercy and grace to the widow, the orphan, and the stranger in the gate. What a blessing to participate in that holy work. How marvelous to partner with the Creator to redeem and restore in the manner of our Lord. What a shame when we allow anything — ANYTHING! — to distract us or get in our way.