Monday, November 17, 2008

A Sobering, Humbling and Challenging Look at Poverty

On the way to Bangkok, I made a stop in Manila to see one of the sites of a Food for the Hungry project.

The picture is of the water underneath the stilted homes of at least 15,000 people in just one of the barangays of Manila. Look at the two white pipes in the upper half of the picture. Notice how they disappear at the water line of the water.

The homes in which people live are about the size of a small American living room and have an average of 6 people living in them. I asked one pastor how many people lived in a one mile radius. "50-60,000." he said. Imagine people living in squalor that no respectable rat would dwell in. Come to think of it, I didn't see one rat.

But these aren't rats, they are men and women, boys and girls, infants and toddlers made in the image and likeness of God. Among them are myriads of people for whom Christ died. Our brothers and sisters in Christ living in desperate need.

Tomorrow I'll share some of the pictures of the children on the barangay and the heroes who are making a difference there.


Llama Momma said...

Welcome back! I look forward to reading more about this amazing trip...

Anonymous said...

Despite all the complaints people may have about the U.S., we are blessed to live in a nation where we don't have to fear being killed or beaten for our faith in Christ and where we have enough food to eat each day and clean water and roofs under our heads. Those that are able to, should really work hard to share with and/or help others in need whether in our own country or abroad.

ChosenRebel said...

Amen Rachel. you have captured the spirit of both Jesus and Paul with your comments:

Luke 3:11 (NASB95)
11 And he would answer and say to them, “The man who has two tunics is to share with him who has none; and he who has food is to do likewise.”

Ephesians 4:28 (NASB95)
28 ... he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need.

Beloved said...

Thanks so much for keeping this in our attention, Marty. I desperately need reorientation like this to pry me from my self-pity from comparing myself to the richer in this nation.

The economic crisis sickens me when I think about the effect it's having on the world's poorest. We rich snobs in the West are "suffering" the inevitable results of a society and economy built on an insatiable appetite for more and more. I'm scared to death by what seems to be an exponentially widening disparity between industrialized (post industrial!) and pre-industrial nations. Why is it that our prosperity is not "trickling down"? Because we're getting rich from the sweat off their backs!

God Break America.