Sunday, February 12, 2012

Lessons from Living With (But Not In) Poverty (Part 5)

Last one.  I promise.  Then I will go back to more mundane things.  So, for those of you who have tuned out this section (congratulations if you have gotten this far), please don't tune out forever. 

When I started, I really didn't realize I would have so much to say.  But the juices got flowing.  I obviously need an editor.  (It's worse when I talk, trust me.)

So let me just sum up here:

1.  We are commanded to care about the poor, and to care for them. 

2.  Make sure you are helping, not hurting (and not giving just to relieve your conscience).

3.  God wants to use all of you, not just your money, to do His work to help the poor.  Consider the idea that He might want your family involved in more "mess" than you may have realized. 

Other ideas:

1.  Intentionally move into a low-income neighborhood. 

2.  Invite a college student from a low-income family to live with you, rent free.  (My parents have done this for 5 years.  Yay, Mom and Dad!)

3.  Volunteer at a pregnancy center, or a women's shelter, or a children's home.

4.  Become a foster parent.

5.  Adopt an international orphan or financially support someone who wants to.

6.  Tutor kids from a low-income neighborhood (but kids' ministry should always be a bridge to family ministry, never an end in itself). 

7.  Cultivate your own strong marriage and help others cultivate theirs (since that's the very best way to keep kids out of poverty).

Other ideas?  Anyone?

I don't have it all together.  My primary purpose in Tanzania is not poverty alleviation.  But I can't ignore it when it is all around me.  May some of what I have learned be a means for God to teach you as well. 

Thanks for reading!
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