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Abject Poverty

An 80 year old father who struggles to raise his 11 year old daughter because his wife died. A 17 year old with polio who his parents abandoned. A boy who couldn’t go to school because his family could not afford a uniform. Four children under the age of 6 who were home alone while their mother worked. The father abandoned the family.
These were four of the families that I visited yesterday. A reporter from Deutschewelle radio in Germany is here in Tanzania doing a story on different programs and their effectiveness in East Africa. I got to tag along as she interviewed the different parents and children, and my heart has never been so broken. From my overly wealthy perspective, I don’t understand how people could survive in these conditions, but they do. Seeing poverty consuming people awakes the desire to help from deep within a person. But when you look around and see person upon person and house upon house and village upon village of nothing but unimaginable poverty, your heart just crumbles from the weight of it all. What is a person to do? A small handout helps for a day, but what about tomorrow? Is another person with a little cash going to be around again?
What am I supposed to do? What does God want me to do? Say a prayer as I leave? Matthew 25 begs to differ. But where do I even begin?

Tanzania
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2 Responses

  1. I can’t imagine how you feel seeing all of this poverty. American Idol recently raised over 30 million dollars for people in Africa (and all over the world). If I could, I would adopt an african child tomorrow. I really think that next summer I want to do short term missions in Africa somewhere. I’m praying for you guys and the wonderful thing you all are doing.

  2. It’s hard to believe that we could be sooooo blessed and others in other parts of the world seem to have so little. We experianced some of that when we were in Myanmar. God has put everyone in a particular place and position to use what he has given them (or not given them) for his honor and to glorify HIM. We all have to do what we can even tho it seems like so little.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY MIKE

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