Every day before we head out for the day, we spend a little time downloading what's going on here. Our work with ICM has been really amazing as we've been building homes, helping with medical clinics, and getting to know the local culture in the villages.
Yesterday, our session was rocking right along. We were talking poverty, and solutions to the global poor. One of the students raised their hand and asked, "So can you define poverty?"
I had to stop for a second.
What an interesting question.
You can look out over the ocean from a grass hut on land that might be sold for millions of dollars in the U.S., but you can't afford to buy new clothes…is that poverty?
You can enjoy the benefit of living in a community and knowing your neighbors, but there's no supermarket to bring home food to fill your refrigerator….is that poverty?
There's a church where people gather for praise, Godly teaching, community announcements, and neighbor relationships, but you might not be able to go to a mall and buy the latest nike shoes…is that poverty?
You see, the mystery of poverty isn't captured in the lack of buying stuff. If communities have proper ways to obtain food, clean water, some sort of medical care, and shelter from the elements, poverty then becomes a hard question to answer.
There aren't highways leading to the flashy light of the cinema, in fact; there isn't any electricity, but people are happy. They're connected. They're living in community with each other, and they're learning about God's love for them.
Maybe in America, we need to realize…
You can live in a 3000 sq ft house, have air condition, and several cars in the driveway…and you can be poor.
You can whiz down the highway to the mall to buy new clothes and pick up fast food on the way…and you can be poor.
You can have a job that makes a lot of money, but unless you have a way to know God, and know people; you might be the poorest of them all.
Thanks for praying for our trip. They're getting it.
Yep…we'll keep rocking this.