Let’s Pick Some Lice!


mark oestreicherI was looking over some really old blog posts, and loved reviewing my thoughts and impressions of Zambia from a World Vision trip many years ago. I was particularly struck by this note I’d written back in June of 2005:

A tall brilliant man named Sikapale (seek-a-pahl-eh), the director of operations for all of WV Zambia, talked to our little group for a bit. He said something that I had to get down here:

“We have a saying in Africa that you can’t pick lice with one finger. We need you to help us, to partner with us.”

That’s the 30 Hour Famine in a short African proverb, right? That’s what we’re doing: we’re partnering with our brothers and sisters to bring healing and restoration and goodness, particularly to children, and particularly to children who need food in their bellies.

In many ways, this proverb is a metaphor for all of youth ministry too. Lone Ranger youth ministry is usually wildly ineffective. We partner—with teenagers, with parents, with other youth workers, and ultimately with the Holy Spirit—to host interactions between teenagers and the God who loves them so perfectly.

As you launch into your school year (take a deep breath!), keep this in mind. And as you put that 30 Hour Famine date on your youth ministry calendar, take a moment to look at your pointer finger. It’s a pretty useless lice-remover!

Let’s pick some lice! Let’s partner!