Blog Action Day: Poverty

A while before I had heard of the blog action day topic for this year I had come across the video below.  Initially there was no connection between the two in my mind.  I heard of poverty and instantly jumped to financial poverty.  It’s an easy jump to make and an important thing of which to raise awareness.  It is my assumption though that a great number of the blogs participating in blog action day are focusing on financial poverty.  I wanted to take it in a slightly different direction.

This video is from The Work of the People.  I have followed t.w.o.t.p. for some time and have always been a fan of the material that they make available.  In this particular video they are listening to a Brazilian pastor by the name of Claudio Oliver as he describes a new approach to the way we think when we think about mission trips and charity.

One of my favorite quotes in the video is towards the end when Oliver states:

“Next time you think about a mission trip, it’s not bad to go and build places, help people to have good meeting places.  Those places will eventually disappear.  They will be destroyed because of aging, because of time.  Go there and build something that can’t be shown to your church in a picture…some immaterial beauty you can build is the building of friendship…because friendship will last forever.”

I don’t write this to be defiant of helping the poor and impoverished.  That isn’t at all my point.  The thing that I would like to draw attention to and call for every to act on is not simply focusing on the material poverty.  See that many times people have spiritual and emotional poverty that far outweighs their financial poverty. 

So, as we find the action to take to stand up against poverty remember to focus not only on the material poverty.  We can build shelters and feed the hungry, but their stomachs will eventually be empty again.  Build shelters, fill stomachs, but also build relationships and fill hearts with genuine care and love.  Approach them as a human not as a project.  Greet them.  Learn their name.  Listen to their story.  Show them that they aren’t forgotten.

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2 thoughts on “Blog Action Day: Poverty

  1. Claudio says:

    Hi Daniel
    I was surfing when I eventually met your blog. It was a surprise to find someone impacted by what we are discerning here in the south. On the issue of poverty, we have also produced another video with the TWOTP called “What is poverty”. It is one out of three planned videos on the issue. The point we are trying to highlight is actually not only confront our understanding of poverty as material lack of things, but that we can go ahead and suddenly discover that our lifestyle is simply misery, and that by advertising it and impose it over 2/3 of the globe we have become blind guides twice bliding those we lure thru our affluence. My intention at the end is to invite people to go to the so called poor, that have been transformed into twice miserable by desiring our miserable lifestyle as humble receivers of their grace, learners of the arts of living inside limits, dominate our compulsion thru renunciation and recover the sense of the sacred in everything that emanates from the Lord, caring the creation as part of it. For those interested in go deeper I recomend to search and read in Google a 40 years old article by Ivan Illich “To hell with good intentions”… be sure .. this is a theological statement. Love, Peace and care to you my brother

  2. Dago Schelin says:

    Cool blog! Loved this post!
    Peace!

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