Mteja?

Mteja is the Swahili word for “subscriber.” It is the first word spoken by the sweet, friendly recorded voice that comes on when you call someone and they don’t answer. By default, the word has come to mean “not available” in conversational language in Kenya. “M.I.A.,” in other words.

This week during the class that I teach on Zoom, I suddenly had the unnerving suspicion that most of the students were not even “there”—or at least were not listening. I have asked them to keep their videos on so they can be seen during class, but most do not. My petition of “does anyone have questions?” usually receives no response. Sure, the mics are muted, but surely someone should unmute and say something–right? When I pondered it further, I ended up feeling quite offended by the whole situation. Hmm.

Then this morning during my typical “Lord, use me; have your way in my life today” prayer, I suddenly wondered if, despite the pious-sounding words, I am like one of those “mteja” students to God. When He calls, do I answer? Or does He get the recording: “The mobile subscriber (mteja) cannot be reached?” Other times, is it “The number {daughter} you are trying to reach is currently busy. Please try again later?” Am I present in pretense but not in reality? When He asks a question, am I there to answer? When He gives an assignment, do I hear it? Ouch!

If you are like me, after several replies of “mteja” and “line busy,” we give up trying. Maybe the phone number changed; maybe she doesn’t want to talk to me; maybe it’s not important after all ….

Is that what God is getting on my line? Has He given up even trying?

The 70’s favorite chorus is now a fresh resolve: “When He calls me, I will answer….” By God’s grace, may it be so.

~ Diane

About Omondis In Kenya

Ibrahim and Diane Omondi serve on the DOVE Christian Fellowship International Apostolic Council, giving oversight to the region of Africa. They have been ministering together in Kenya since 1984 and now oversee the work of more than 100 congregations in four nations. They also give leadership to the missions thrust of DOVE Africa which includes 14 Kenyan and Ugandan missionaries serving among unreached people groups in these nations. The Omondis direct Springs of Africa, a non-profit organization sponsoring micro-finance, community development and various education initiatives.
This entry was posted in Inspiration, Personal, Prayer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Mteja?

  1. When He calls, may I not be muted! Thank you!!

  2. Diane, Thank you so much for this timely reminder to be tuned in to God’s messages! Though truly the desire of my heart, there are so many distractions that demand, the “unavailable” response to the importand message God desires to speak into my day.

    Let’s help each other to stay attentively connected. doris

    On Thu, May 21, 2020 at 8:13 AM Omondis In Kenya wrote:

    > Omondis In Kenya posted: “Mteja is the Swahili word for “subscriber.” It > is the first word spoken by the sweet, friendly recorded voice that comes > on when you call someone and they don’t answer. By default, the word has > come to mean “not available” in conversational language in Ke” >

  3. George says:

    Wow. Made me pause and think. Very well put, thought provoking.

  4. Ephraim Tumusiime says:

    Diane, I am not only reminded but challenged. Indeed my line can be busy and it should not be the case. Thank you so much.

  5. Thanks for your input. Blessings to you and your family.

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