One Man’s Junk is Another Man’s Treasure

Written by | March, 2014
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From the Field March 8, 2014
In the USA there is so very much that is discarded. We are a wealthy nation and as individuals see this everyday in a multitude of ways. One way is to look at what is taken to the junkyard or put out for the trashman to haul away. While we lived in Nigeria we used things for longer and repaired items. But finally we had to discard things. No garbage man came along the road and picked up our discards. We had a room where we put broken and unused things. Then after a while we would simply put them out on our doorstep of the house where we lived in the village of Efa. The next morning the items would be gone! People kept an eye out for what the rich Americans would throw away, because they could be used.
One time I was reprimanded by Pastor Benson who was also a painter as to how I would open the large five gallon paint pails. I would take a knife and cut the plastic rim to open them. He said I should not do that as the pail could be used with its lid uncut (but pried off) for storing things in. And we would have requests for these empty pails from several people so that we had to decide to whom we would give them.
Waste not, want not is a fine old saying. Living overseas it took on an added depth of meaning.