What should be our response to poverty?
What should be our response to poverty?

I’m sitting in a bed while thousands of miles away from home, across the ocean blue. I brought a missions team down to the sleepy village of Neply, Haiti to assist with an organization called #myLIFEspeaks. I happened to be the first one on our team to contract a mosquito born illness called chikagunya, which is sweeping this country like a raging wild fire.  In all honestly, I’m glad it was me, hopefully sparing one of my team members. This virus gives you a high fever and the strangest bone and joint pain. My bones cry out and ache within. I was moved to a missionary’s home, which has air conditioning so I could be more comfortable.

And yet, I find myself struggling with thoughts like, “It’s not fair.”

It’s not fair that I sit here in luxury while right out my window I see those with lesser means. The village of Neply is poor. For that matter, pretty much all of Haiti is poor. And to see fellow brothers and sisters in such dire need can be a pill difficult to swallow.

Why does it have to be this way?

There’s nothing that compares to the poverty you see in this country. Nothing. People live in metal shacks propped up by 2×4’s smashed into tiny living spaces. For miles upon miles, you can see half built buildings, earthquake remains, and shoddy construction. But that’s not all—there is trash absolutely everywhere and the various radiating smells are stifling. Dust blows everywhere. One has to question, why in the world would one chose to live here?

However, it’s not a choice.

People were born here and there is no way out. It is difficult to receive a travel visa. The complexities of poverty run deep, forcing you to ask the question Why?

In Matthew 11:26 we are reminded, “The poor will always be with you.” We live in a complex society where poverty will always exist. One reason poverty may exist is as a reminder for our need for God. We have nothing without Him. He is our sole provider and sustainer of life. Humbleness sweeps over me as I peer out the window and the necessity of a response is awakened.

 Scripture is chock full of reminders to feed and serve the poor.

“He who has two coats, let him share with him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise” Luke 3:11

“Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.”  John 14:12-14

God created YOU to be the “hands and feet of Christ.” He created YOU to carry out the work of Christ. YOU are His hands, His feet and His eyes. The Christian life is dynamic and active.

It’s a life that demands YOU to “love others as yourself.” (Mark 12:31)

 “May the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all men.” 1 Thessalonians 3:12

Become the kind of person who cannot sit idle. Become the kind of person who wants to do something now.

Become the kind of person whom God can use.