I received an email today from Mohamed, a man I met on Ile de Roume in Guinea. He sells crafts. Now that the rainy season has arrived, business is over. He’s back in Conakry with his mom.
The last time we spoke, he told me about his dream to own an espresso machine and start a coffee business. I thought it was a great idea. The problem? The machine costs $500. It’s not a completely impossible figure, if you’re a westerner. Even then I thought I could raise that amount of money for him. But, as a friend who grew up in Guinea pointed out, this shop will cost far more than $500. He’ll need electricity, something completely unreliable in Conakry. This means he’ll need a generator. Which means he’ll need gasoline. Do you see where this is going?
I said no to his request. I never promised I would help him. He just assumes, like many, since I’m from America, I must be able to help. So now I’m sitting here in Gran Canaria, first world European nation, and I’m reminded of how much we have and how much they don’t have. I’m sad. I can’t rationalize saying no. I sit here thinking he’ll be fine, he’s a grown man with good health, he’ll find a way to make a living. But it still feels selfish to say no.
Pray for him. He does not know my God. I know the God who created him. I have to trust he will keep providing for him.