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Entered By: Mark
Entry Date: 2006-08-17 15:02:16
Subject: Fighting Poverty

I am probably the only one on the planet that thinks like this, but just in case there´s another nut out there... Until this week it never really dawned on me that the Lord wanted to help people out of poverty as much as He just wanted to simply ¨minister¨ to the poor. In my little finite mind, I thought Jesus wanted to minister to the poor because they needed His sympathy. While reading the Gospels over the last fifteen years, I got the feeling that wealth was the enemy of the Kingdom as so many times greed is denounced. Mark my words, I am in know way endorsing greed; which I believe is hidden behind some of the prosperity messages in modern Christian teachings. Anyway, it is liberating when the Lord reveals His truth from time to time. So much of what I have read recently states poverty as a worldview problem. Many people in the world do not expect anything more than meager existance and so they never strive for anything more. It has been said that if you take away every possession a millionaire has, he would regain his millionaire status within a few years. In other words, he has been trained to believe that wealth is attainable. Contrast that to many impoverished lottery winners that end up bankrupt within a couple years after winning millions in the lottery. They have never known anything but poverty and end up worse off after winning the lottery. So my new little illumination has re-invigorated my drive to help the poor down here. Where we live, people hope to work for the American missionaries because their salaries often double from $2/day to a little more than $4/day or more, working a lot less hours. It is not enough for us to come down here and pay relatively steep wages. We must train the nationals to believe they can live without worrying about missing their next meal. First of all, the poor must be trained that they can be liberated from poverty. This is a huge change, but Jesus Christ came to set us free! Next, markets must be opened. In other words, the people must be trained with marketable skills. The good news is that we are equipped with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and we also bring some very marketable skills with us. Paula is an excellent teacher and our daughter Hannah is doing a great job teaching the little boys English. All of the boys are learning English simply by living with us. We have some experience in various fields of sewing, food preparation, butchering etc. Lately we have noticed that some of our boys are completely glued to the computer we brought with us. Therefore it might be time to start teaching a little programming down here. Corporations in industrialized nations currently pay $10/hour for overseas (primarily India) software development. There´s not a soul we´ve encountered in the little town of Siguatepeque that would turn down $5/hour or more (20 time the current going wage). It´s time for some baby steps. It´s also time to examine your own heart. Has the Lord blessed you? Might you have something more to give back to the Kingdom of Heaven? You can never go wrong helping orphans. (James 1:27)

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