Last week, a dear lady at our church who ministers to widows in Kenya shared a prayer request during our church’s prayer meeting:
A dear pastor who interpreted for us earlier this year in Kenya, was killed by a hippo a few days ago. He left a widow, Mary, with six children.
My first thought was, “What a terrible way to die.” Smithsonian says that male hippos can weigh up to 6000 lbs. and they “have trampled or gored people who strayed too near, dragged them into lakes, tipped over their boats, and bitten off their heads.” Hippos likely “kill more people each year than lions, elephants, leopards, buffaloes and rhinos combined,” according to Smithsonian. They can bite your head off?? Apparently, despite their adorable ears and cute backsides, hippos are aggressive, nasty animals. Death by hippopotamus is not the way I want to exit this world.
My second thought when I heard this story was that I’m grateful to live in a country where we don’t have hippos charging up out of lakes to kill people. I know this may sound silly, but as I’ve been thinking about this, I’ve been filled with an incredible sense of gratitude to live in a country that is exponentially better than Kenya in so many ways. Aside from the marauding hippo problem, the life expectancy there is only 50 years of age. Forty percent of Kenyans die from HIV, TB, or malaria, all preventable diseases. A full 34% die of other communicable diseases. While we are debating Obamacare and screaming about a website that doesn’t work here in the United States, Kenyans are still trying to eradicate tuberculosis and malaria. It’s something we need to keep in perspective.