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I Am Not Macho  

Deep inside I’ve always wished I was more macho.  The barrel-chested “Mr. Brawny” brand of guy. Alas, I’m a smidge over five foot eight and decidedly “un-brawny.”  So why the fixation?

A macho guy wouldn’t have given a second thought to flying with a World Vision team to Senegal.  But I did.   A macho guy would scarcely have noticed the beetles crawling under the door of our hotel, or the lizard that seemed to chuckle at me as he skittered across the window curtain.   Me?  I was a bit squeamish, especially as I eyeballed a spider on the wall that the lizard was supposed to have eaten–but didn’t.

Mr. Macho would have been fine with the mud huts we saw everywhere in the Tattaguine region of Senegal.  He could easily have peered into the dirty wells we saw in village after village and dismissed from his mind the reality that tots and teens and grandmas and grandpas all drink this dirty stuff they claimed as water.  And sometimes get sick from it. 

I was downright shocked when our World Vision host recounted his experience of giving kids bottles of pure water, only to watch them dump out the water—not trusting it because they had never seen anything that clear or clean.  (The plastic bottles, however, were highly prized). 

Mr. Macho wouldn’t have squirmed at all listening to World Vision project director Michel describing the “food insecurity” that so many of the rural Senegalese people face.  But I’m sure I flinched as Michel described “coping strategies”–the way these people are forced to sell off the one goat they might own…or maybe send their twelve year old daughter into the city to get a job to pay for food.  So many of the girls come back robbed, either of their possessions or their virtue, and they often contract AIDS. 

Macho Man could have taken all this in and never once have wiped away a tear or stifled a low moan in the soul.  Me?  I cried.  I am not macho.  

And if being macho is a core value for you, then stay as far away as possible from World Vision.  Never dare to travel with them.  Or sponsor a child.  To do so might wrench a tear from your eye…or a sob from your soul.  Caring—at the heart level—has always cost this much.  To see the World Vision team gladly paying this price in Senegal (as these reckless lovers of Jesus do in nearly 100 countries around the world) is beyond macho.  It is magnificent. 

My name is Jon.

I am not macho.


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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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Jon Gauger Media 2016