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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Poverty


I spent this past week in the city of Santiago (northern Dominican Republic). Yes I had a good time but it made me take a step back,to think and to pray. Leaving the poverty and cruelty of life in Haiti and coming to the wealth of Santiago brought me to my knees. Some call it culture shock but I'd rather see it as God teaching me something.

Living in Haiti people in abject poverty becomes a part of life. Empty stomachs, bare feet and houses that you would not want in your neighborhood. It seems hopeless, just a downward spiral that is picking up speed. And it hardens you, what at one time broke your heart now seems normal, your human compassion is callused.

Going from this to a city were the ice cream parlors deliver, were McDonald's is not a foreign word and were garbage is picked up at your doorstep rather than being burned in the street. Caused a shock that brought me to a fresh realization of the desperate needs of our world. No I'm not talking about empty stomachs but empty souls. If you give a man a piece of bread and not Christ he is just as poor as he was before. And yes Christ called us to feed the poor,. But its also harder for a rich man to enter into heaven than it is for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. Because the whole world weather rich or poor is in desperate need of truth.

Its easy for us Americans to write a check to feed the poor. Or to slip our extra cash in the offering plate to help the homeless. But we don't realize that we ourselves are among the poorest. We may have a nice house and money in the bank. but our souls are empty, our hearts are filthy before God and that which we say with our mouth is not lived out in our lives. This world does not need anymore wealthy business men or middle class families. It needs men and woman who will stand for the truth. Who will walk every moment of their lives in the presence of the almighty. And those who will seek to change this world starting with their own heart.