How are you in Poverty?

Maybe this topic is talked about more than I am aware. I know I have heard it a lot in preparing for mission’s trips… but I don’t know when else this would be brought up.

The definition of poverty (when googled) is: the state of being extremely poor. 

Obviously when we hear the word poverty the first thing we think of is those who don’t have much money, those who don’t have a home, or enough food to eat.

However, poverty takes many forms. We can be extremely in a lot of areas of life.

Think of an impoverished community. My mind goes to the ones that I have seen and experienced in Bolivia and Belize. Now in what ways are the people in those communities richer than you?

I live in the United States, and I think we are poor when it comes to culture. There are many sub-cultures within the United States, however, as a whole we lack the traditions and customs that make a place and it’s people beautiful.

We also have poor relationships. In the impoverished communities I’ve experienced and even the ones I’ve heard about, all the people know each other and look out for each other. In the U.S. it seems to me that we like to keep to ourselves and think of our own needs first.

We are also poor in faith. I’ve seen poor communities with such faith. Faith in God or whatever they may believe in. They have trust, worship, and dedication like no one else I’ve ever seen. In my opinion many Christians, at least in the U.S., do not have a very rich and full faith.

Then I ask myself where my poverties are… I’d say family, faith, and culture, just to name a few. (To be honest, I’m even a little impoverished on the money side of things at the moment too).

So I encourage you to find ways how those who don’t have a lot of money, are actually rich. And one more thing, how are you in poverty?

“Listen, my dear brothers and sisters! Didn’t God choose poor people in the world to become rich in faith and to receive the kingdom that he promised to those who love him?”

–  James 2: 5

Developing Nations and Maintaining Culture

When working in international service this is an important question to ask. How do we help nations develop without stripping them of their culture?

During my time in Bolivia, I saw beautiful outfits, I watched many traditional dances being preformed, and I ate delicious food specific to the culture. It would be terrible for all these traditions to fade away.

So how do we introduce a community to new technology and resources without completely changing their values and essentially their culture? With all the new and improved, it is important to ensure the traditions are not left behind.

Overall, there must be a balance, a way to keep the good and improve on the bad.

Let me know if any of you have put any thought into this!