Poorest of the Poor – Part II

8 Sep

You know how mission trips usually give the participants a sense of accomplishment, renewed enthusiasm, and tons and tons of stories to tell?

Well, I recently went on a mission trip. And you know what’s weird?  My heart hurt leaving my mission trip.  For a variety of reasons.  I had some sense of accomplishment, some renewed enthusiasm, and yes, I had stories to tell.  But the stories were of heartache, and of recounting the sad stories of those whom I served.

As you may already know, my mission trip was a domestic mission trip – a mission trip here in the U.S. – to a city that I have been to twice before.

I had known for several years that if I ever went on a mission trip, I would want to go on my first mission trip here in the U.S.

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My reason behind wanting my first mission trip to be here in the U.S. stems from the fact that the poorest of the poor reside here.  There are so many people in the U.S. alone who are just as needy, if not more needy, than those in third-world countries.  (I am all for foreign mission – don’t get me wrong.)

Let me explain why I believe that the poorest of the poor can be found on our own U.S. land.

1) Third-world countries suffer incredibly from hunger and poverty – a lack of personal/material belongings that would aid their well-being.  That’s a given.

2) Our first world country of the U.S. does not suffer anywhere near the hunger that third-world countries do.  And, the “poverty” in the U.S. is not so much a material poverty.  It is a poverty that makes my heart . . . . how do I say it? . . . . . Sad.  and hurt.  and afraid.

My point is this: the saddest tragedy concerning poverty of the U.S. is that we suffer a poverty of spirit.  Men, women and children do not know where they came from or where they are going.  A staggering number of people deny the existence of God.

Many a person is afraid to even mention God in public.

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Um.  Excuse me, but last time I checked, God gave us everything we have ever owned.  Okay, He may not have personally reached down from Heaven and handed me my home or my car, but you get my drift.  God provides for us.

U.S. citizens just don’t get it.  Or they do, but they’re afraid to admit it.

Moral standards and ethical codes have been thrown out the window with the belief that what we do really DOES matter.

In our land of prosperity and wealth, there is a phrase that makes me nauseated.  This phrase is thus: “It is what it is.”

Let me ask you a question: Are you “for” change?  I sure hope so.

By “change” I mean: the act of making a difference in our relativistic, pagan/atheistic, “whatever works for you” culture.

Are you actively promoting and doing something to promote this change?  You darned well better be.

Oh, and by the way, please don’t tell me “Oh, God will understand” when you are trying to excuse yourself for doing something you are ashamed of admitting was sinful and disgraceful.  Or the times that “that hard conversation” is just “going to make them even more upset.”  Pretty sure Jesus made a lot of people upset, but that didn’t stop Him from speaking Truth.  Just sayin’.

Love hurts.  Love is tough.  “Love believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”  1 Corinthians 13:7

Are you loving your acquaintance/friend/family member by allowing them to stumble around in their stupor of indifference?

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Common sense, logic, reason, and, dare I even mention, God, have been snuffed out of the very core and vocabulary of our beings.  Persons who so much as mention God are labeled as “haters”, “bigots”, “terrorists”, and so forth.  Apparently persons who mention such words are “forcing their ideologies on others.”  Really?  Are we really still in first grade?  Come on, people.  It’s better to admit there is a God than deny Him and find out the hard way later on.

WE, the citizens of the U.S., are the poorest of the poor.

I went on the mission trip this summer to help make a difference (even if I just made the tiniest of dents of a difference) in the lives of those men, women and children who suffer from this spiritual and moral poverty.  They are truly the poorest of the poor.

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They are the men and women who were never taught how to live an upright, moral life.

They are women who have been abandoned by their “baby daddies” who were just their “one night stands.”

They are young boys and girls who do not know the love of one father and one mother.

They are the sisters and brothers who have held grudges their whole lives and are bitter towards everyone.

They are the people who are ungrateful for their meals.

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They are the boys and girls who have never been taught how to treat each other with respect and dignity.

They are the little kids who will never know the affectionate embrace of a mother or father because their parents are drug or alcohol addicts.

They are the women who have a sense of entitlement towards their bus passes and warm beds that they have been generously supplied with.

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They are the people who depend on generosity from others for their well-being, yet have little or no sense of gratitude, let alone the desire or plans for supporting themselves.

They are the people who “work the system” and live off of “father government.”

It makes my heart incredibly heavy and my mind filled with disgust from the spiritual poverty of our nation.

And you know what?!  So many of these people are utterly clueless about morality and virtuous living. 

Even worse, some of them are aware and don’t. care.

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Are we doing everything we can to aright this degradation?

Mother Teresa once said, “When the time comes to ask God for something, ask Him to help you be generous.”

My dear friends, we must unite as the Body of Christ.  We know our calling.

Jesus tells us “Be not afraid.  I go before you always.  Come follow me.”

Let us answer Him with an enthusiastic “YES, LORD!  We have come to serve you and to do Your will.”

Let us help inform our fellow men and women of our calling to LIVE as children of GOD.

Will you join me in PRAYER and SERVICE?

Pray for me (I need prayers just as much as anyone else!) and be assured of my prayers for you.

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