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Informal Communities

Millions live in these kind of conditions

Am in the middle of the long flight home. Still having trouble knowing how to express what I have seen and heard on a week visit to South Africa.

On one hand, while in the Durban area I have met people with a deep desire to reach out to all segments of this complex society.

Their efforts are complicated by high rates of unemployment, disease, poverty, and government efforts that often end being skimmed or diverted from those who need them.

Have heard some inspiring stories about how some of them have come to faith in Christ from very different  backgrounds.

On the other hand, I have also had a chance to see what the locals call “informal communities”. It’s a polite word for the poverty of millions of people who are living as squatters under conditions that we wouldn’t wish on an animal.

Saw both men and women carrying jugs and pails of water to their shacktown homes that have no running water and often just illegal wires tapped into electric lines.

Ironically, we also got a chance to spend an early morning on a “mini safari” in a game preserve where we saw some of the most amazing animals. We snapped way too many pictures of giraffe’s, rhino’s, zebras, and a lot more that I can’t spell or remember right now.

The caretakers of these wildebeests, jackals, ostriches etc knew so much about them, and were so proud of the care given to these animals that were being allowed to roam freely in a large protected reserve.

Yet, these animals are honored in ways that so many millions of children are not.

One afternoon we drove to some of these communities as school was getting out. Have never seen so many young people and children walking along the road. Hundreds and hundreds. For miles and miles.

The upside is that the government is trying to provide an education. Many of these children are getting a chance– even though we were also repeatedly told that the girls often start having babies at a very early age, and then end up having to raise them, in ever deepening poverty, on small government allowances.

I have no idea where these people get enough food to feed all who live in these  densely populated shacktowns.

We visited a church that was a tent on a hillside where squatters were living on land that others regarded worthless—in this case because they overlooked a “water/sewage reclamation” facility.

Yet I saw smiling faces and felt no hostility, even though we were told repeatedly of the high crime rate in the city of Durban.

Wish I could say more. But don’t have time, or enough understanding right now to try to make sense of “the value of a person” and what I saw.


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42 Responses to “Informal Communities”

  1. fadingman says:

    It’s interesting how so many of the poor in other parts of the world are happier and get along with each other more than the rich – more than we do, even more than western believers. Perhaps this is one way to to understand “Blessed are the poor in spirit”?

  2. poohpity says:

    I saw sick people rather than water jugs in the wheelbarrows when they needed help to go the bathroom which was bush. I also saw that people had to travel by foot more than 10 miles to the local medical outpost and then wait for days to be seen. The children would go into the bathroom at the pre-school and stuff toilet paper in their pockets to take home it was like gold to them.

    The children were happy to have one hot meal a day while we sat in the mission house eating 3. It was like the mission trips were a safari of sorts only it was not looking at the wild animals it was looking at the villages and the needs there, being giving by ex-apartheid members who sat in their luxury homes with servants. I still do not understand and probably never will.

  3. poohpity says:

    Yes fadingman, God uses those things we would consider worth nothing to bring the biggest lessons to us and have the most joy.

  4. sjonesd3 says:

    It’s just kind of humbling that in a continent like Africa they appreciate everything get yet in the US where we have a lot we don’t. It’s like when you have nothing all you can do is lean on God. Hopefully one day I get to travel to Africa after I graduate.


  5. Mart De Haan says:

    poohpity, you saw and did so much more than I did. Thank you for helping us to know that there is so much more… I think one thing that really got to me was to get to find out that some of our workers live in those kind of conditions– even though I would have never imagined…

  6. poohpity says:

    When I was there I asked God why He would let this happen and the reply I got was, “That he did not make it happen the people did but He has heard their cry and is sending people to help”. When people see and their hearts are touched there is no longer secrets about the horrible injustices, that is when God sends us for the jobs we were intended to do all along. Not bickering about being more spiritual than one another but to help the people all around the world that need the love of Christ to be lived out. Sending us as the good Samaritans that did not walk past the ones in need. Luke 10:25-36NIV and then the toppers is Luke 10:37NIV

  7. poohpity says:

    Mart, can you imagine what all those trailer homes that were unused in New Orleans after Katrina could be shipped over there on one of those large tanker ships and then trucked in could do? Or wheelchairs with the kind of tires that are on cross country bikes could do? Even a factory there that could make the types of wheelchairs that could be used in the villages where dirt is the foundation rather than wheelbarrows. The big companies that dig for the platinum and diamonds could sponsor. Think of all the water buffaloes and other game that are available to kill for food but they were taken from their skills as hunters to be servants.

    The faith of those who are there puts us to shame, I know I will never be the same after my trip. Were you in Cape Town?

  8. Loomis says:

    I lived in Liberia and worked with the Bassa tribe and like the pictures above they appeared happy and content. But when you got to know them and saw their suffering and fears the facade of happiness in a possed picture. There also was a difference in the poverty in the country side and the poverty in the city. As I looked back I remember the times of fellowship I had with the Christians. Little did I know the future turmoil they would soon face. When we look at the pictures let’s see people. Mart ou are right on target.

  9. bubbles says:

    This quote reminds me of this post.

    “I complained because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.”

  10. fadingman says:

    About 7 years ago my wife and I were in Ghana with Mary Jane Ponten for 10 days to help paint a school for disabled children. The people were very poor but always smiling. We stayed in a guest house in Apam. No A/C or hot water, but compared to the neighborhood, very luxurious. We came to serve, but I wonder what the people of the area thought of us rich Americans living in a place with a flush toilet and shower. I wasn’t really comfortable with the idea of living so high on the hog.

  11. SFDBWV says:

    This entire subject and topic of the past several days is a mixture of social, economic, political, and perhaps religious realities.

    I say religious because as Christians we should feel compassion for the suffering of others yet that suffering can only be eradicated by a combination of improvements from all the other forces I mentioned.

    Yes it is nice to imagine that God can wave His hand and all the poor and suffering among us are suddenly wealthy and happy, but that ain’t gonna happen today.

    I for one do not criticize the western world, as the western world has forged out a better way of life for its citizens and for centuries have sent Christian missionaries to Africa and places like it in a compassionate attempt to both bring Christianity to a heathen culture and to improve the standard of living for all. Sending all too often the missionaries to their deaths from the very people they came to *save*.

    However all that can be done is to bring the message as well as education to impoverished people, somewhere in the formula for change it is the responsibility of they themselves to take what they have been taught or given and rise above their situation.

    Yes in some situations the poor and oppressed are kept that way by a ruling class, but if you look at all of Africa it isn’t always a race issue as tribes and now the evil of Islam murders generations of peoples in the name of religion and power.

    It becomes a reality check for some of us to ask what can I do to help these people?

    I have not been to Africa, but have South America and have seen the same shanty communities there.

    Oddly, I met with a lovely intelligent and wise woman some 40 years ago who told me that house trailers had replaced the tarpaper shacks of rural Appalachia, she is correct, and I still know people who live in what many of you would call, squalor, as a choice, not forced to.

    I can’t fix what I see in the poverty of other countries, I have dedicated myself to do the best I can to see to it that my own country doesn’t fall into that condition. Yet I feel I suffer under a President who wants to take from those who have worked to have what they have, and give it to those who have not.

    I can’t go to Africa or South America and fix their socio-economic problems, I can pray for them and perhaps throw money their way, but that is about it.

    I am sorry if my comments sound rather harsh, but I am being realistic and do not want to be made feel guilty or that somehow the suffering of these people are under my control.


  12. Mart De Haan says:

    Poohpity, no, I did not get to Capetown. Was only in the Durban area where some of what I saw was enormous wealth and tragic poverty. Also met church people who deeply care about those who have been hurt historically by a Church which, like our own in the US, for too long used the Bible to justify inhumanity and a lack of justice.

  13. Mart De Haan says:

    Steve, realism brings to our senses in so many ways. Have often thought about the rich man that Jesus talked about who found himself suffering in after-death-poverty not for failing to help a lot of people across town– but for ignoring the beggar that he ignored day after day at his own doorstep.

    Realism meets us where we are, one step at a time, either in the spirit of Christ or apart from it.

    Only as we are given vision, grace, and opportunity are we able to give to the benefit of others in our homes, and beyond.

  14. SFDBWV says:

    Tell me Mart, is it money that you or I may give that helps the impoverished people you seen while there in South Africa?

    What act of yours or mine can change one thing about their lives or the lives of those in control of events there in South Africa?

    Lofty words will not feed a hungry belly or stop a bullet or prevent disease. Being aware of the evil that rides free will across Africa may be the beginning of change, but tell me what actually can we or I do aside from what I said earlier, prayer or throw money towards the problem is there that you or I can do?


  15. poohpity says:

    We can understand their plight and rather than throw money at them we can give from the heart to touch just one person. It may not be in Africa but the one person we help here may turn around and be the one who goes. We can also sponsor a child.

    If we take the time to learn about them and what goes on there the Lord can speak to our hearts and we will then be able to know exactly what to pray for and what to do and that may be different for each person. Five dollars here turns into $35 Rand there which is enough to feed a child for a week or pay for medication to combat AIDS or a mosquito net to stop Malaria. Their needs are minimal compared to what we go through in a day just paying for Burger King or McDonald’s or one pizza. If it makes one feel guilty then that may be the Lord’s tug on a heart. It is doing nothing that we may need to look at.

    Mart, it is sad that something I love so much, the Bible, could be deemed the source of such pain when I have found only healing but through the process I can understand how those who’s hearts are set on evil can use it to back up their horrible acts as they did here in the US with the Native Americans. They seem to use it to control rather than learn grace and mercy.

  16. poohpity says:

    Sometimes when we support things like RBC ministries they have the boots on the ground there already.

  17. poohpity says:

    Mom’s what can I say except raise a thank you for taking all the “I Hate You’s”, “I can do it my way, I do not need your help”, “Your embarrassing me”, “No’s”, bites, throw up , poop, pee, hair pulled out, boobs falling, stomach pooch, stretch marks, late nights or sleepless nights, bailouts, and broken hearts. Just to get those tiny hugs, wet kisses, butterfly kisses, little smiles, warm memories, holding one finger when walking, giggles, art work on the frig, watching those first performances, hand prints in plaster, and the best time of our lives. Good job, Mom’s for the hardest job in the world and then the joy grandchildren.

  18. saled says:

    I like Mart’s comment about the rich man suffering for ignoring the beggar on his own doorstep. Like Pooh said, we can sponsor a child, but sometimes the children of Africa come to us. Has anyone seen the documentary about the Lost Boys of Sudan? There are organizations who go as far as to bring refugees to America and find sponsors to help them start a new life. In some of the larger cities of my state, there are communities of refugees who had this type of help.

  19. poohpity says:

    There are people upon people who are not valued because of skin color, social status, special needs, culture, education, gender and many other issues that can cause separation because others think themselves better or having more value than another human being. God finds value and worth in every person and needs every person to fulfill His mission around the world. What may seem small to one person is a lot to another.

  20. remarutho says:

    Good Evening Mart & Friends –

    The glaring, painful trench between have and have not is an endless source of heart-ache. It seems to me, here in my small town, that seeking a ministry all peoples can be part of is a way to honor the value and integrity of each person no matter which side of the tracks (s)he comes from. Haves cannot simply give what they own to have-nots – nor can those in want be reduced to begging or accepting hand-outs.

    It isn’t easy. The traditions in high-steeple churches hold them back from being in fellowship with the poor. The story of the apostle Peter and the Roman centurion Cornelius shows the blessed Holy Spirit speaking to and preparing the hearts of each man in anticipation of the big day of baptisms and Roman hospitality to a group of Jewish Christians. It was a Holy Ghost set-up – entirely impossible until the supernatural change (Acts 10:1, 3, 5, 9, 13, 15) in hearts was accomplished.

    We are all forlorn and puny until the Lord takes us up to be instruments of his love and peace. In my humble opinion, our time is short and our ability to accomplish the closing of the immense distance is non-existent. The only thing we can supply is surrender and obedience to the Lord. I have not been to the project, but I hope soon to go to Kenya where there is a project to support AIDS orphans. All I have done is send a little money. You are right on, Pooh. You wrote: “we can give from the heart to touch just one person.” Is this not being in ministry with our brothers and sisters – not just ministering to them? By the way, Pooh, before Mother’s Day is over: Thanks for the tasty picture of motherhood ;o)


  21. narrowpathseeker says:

    While reading the posts here I suddenly thought of Albert Schweitzer. He was an accomlished musician and a high ranking theologian who then went on to medical school because he wanted to be a medical missionary in Africa. He gave up everything to go there and build a hospital. The people he went there to help would not work to build the hospital so he actually did much of the physical work of building it too!! He did so with no resentment whatsoever towards anyone. I remember thinking at that time how undeserving they were of his help, but also what an incredibly kind and genuine Christian this man was. The man actually lived what he preached. I think this man rose above himself by the time he was 10 years old! I need to get moving on that endeavor!

    A great secret of success is to go through life as a man who never gets used up.
    Albert Schweitzer

    A man can do only what he can do. But if he does that each day he can sleep at night and do it again the next day.
    Albert Schweitzer

    A man is ethical only when life, as such, is sacred to him, that of plants and animals as that of his fellow men, and when he devotes himself helpfully to all life that is in need of help.
    Albert Schweitzer

    A man is truly ethical only when he obeys the compulsion to help all life which he is able to assist, and shrinks from injuring anything that lives.
    Albert Schweitzer

    An optimist is a person who sees a green light everywhere, while a pessimist sees only the red stoplight… the truly wise person is colorblind.
    Albert Schweitzer

    Anyone who proposes to do good must not expect people to roll stones out of his way, but must accept his lot calmly, even if they roll a few stones upon it.
    Albert Schweitzer

    At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.
    Albert Schweitzer

    Compassion, in which all ethics must take root, can only attain its full breadth and depth if it embraces all living creatures and does not limit itself to mankind.
    Albert Schweitzer

    Do something for somebody everyday for which you do not get paid.
    Albert Schweitzer

    Day by day we should weigh what we have granted to the spirit of the world against what we have denied to the spirit of Jesus, in thought and especially in deed.
    Albert Schweitzer

  22. Regina says:

    Good Evening All,

    Haven’t contributed in awhile, but you’ve been in my thoughts, and I sincerely hope that all is well in your lives. HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all the BTA mothers who contribute to this blog and to all mothers in the world. May God bless you abundantly for your tireless sacrifice.

    Mart, your intro comment was very thought-provoking and emotionally painful. It hurts my heart to know that the majority of the S.A. population lives in abject poverty. What you shared does make one wonder why some have so much and others have so little? Thinking about Adam and Eve’s decision to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Their disobedience to God had far-reaching consequences. The LORD judged their sin and several punishments followed. I could focus on some of the other punishments, but I think the most painful punishment of all was the fact that the earth became cursed and no longer produced food (freely) without manual labor. Isn’t it mind-boggling that people are still suffering from that curse today? It hurts my heart… :-( Thinking about the famines that took place in biblical times and the famines that have taken place in my time. Thinking about the biblical account of Jesus feeding the 5,000 plus women and children. We surely do need miracles like that today, and I truly believe that we will see them in the last day! I believe that we’re living in the “last days” right now. In regards to feeding the masses upon masses of people who are living in impoverished situations, Mart, I don’t think the situation is going to get any better in the short run (though I do think it will get better in the long run, but not without a LOT of suffering). I believe that countries that have never seen famine will see it in the future. Much prayer will be needed then and much prayer is needed now. Please come quickly, LORD Jesus!!

    Love to all…

  23. SFDBWV says:

    Chances are that if you belong to a church that has international ties your tithes or special offerings are already contributing to the poor of the world and most likely there in Africa.

    As Islam takes hold in some of the African countries Christian missionaries and with them schools and medical help is not allowed to enter.

    Interesting is the fact that the wealthiest of Islamic countries do not contribute to the poor and wretched who live among the African peoples or anywhere else in the world, but they do still practice slavery.

    If you are a Methodist, the Methodists have had their feet on the ground in Africa for centuries as have the Catholic Church and many other Christian religious organizations. If you contribute any money to these organizations you are doing what most people do. Give money and feel that you have done what you can.

    Most of us can not leave our homes and go to these countries and offer any help. Unless you are a doctor or a educator or have special talents there is little you could offer by being there. But if God places a burden on you to go and do whatever it is He wants you to do, then by all means obey the call and go.

    The USA as a government as well as the UN attempts to aid the people of Africa as well as other poor spots in the world, but at some point the people who live there have to take charge of their lives and produce change, they can not become welfare nations and dependant forever on outside aide as it seems to be the case in Haiti.

    As said before, we as individuals can do a great deal if God has placed us in the position to exact His will in this matter, if not all we can do is contribute to the poor among us, whether it be next door or tens of thousands of miles away and of course pray.

    Mart mentioned the story of Lazarus and the rich man, anything I say or feel about even another nation is an observational call and perhaps a judgment of their lack of compassion. Look yourselves and see how much oil wealth is given to the poor of the world from the wealthiest of the oil rich Islamic countries, then look for yourselves and see that they still practice slavery. Where is the outcry against such antiquated and barbaric behavior? No we keep silent and as a result are as guilty as they for their sin against mankind. Even within the borders of these same oil rich kingdoms there are barrios and shanty towns filled with souls who need a better life and the good news of the Gospel.


  24. poohpity says:

    Regina, it is like the feeding of the 5,000 there. The little they are given goes a very long way. :-)

    People that experience subjugation usually have no choice in the matter. A stronger people comes in and takes them from what they knew and lived, to live under the control of a stronger people and the sad thing is that is it done in the name of Christ at times. It has happened for centuries to many peoples. Look at what happened to the natives here or to the people that were brought from Africa centuries ago and the lives that were touched. The story behind the song “Amazing Grace” show the change in a person heart when God touches them and points them in a different direction. There is always hope in God.

    Those type of trips can cause us to wake up each day and just be thankful for running water. The independence that the people there are going through is similar to what happened here during the civil rights movement. It has taken all of the pain that Nelson Mandela after 27 years of prison becomes the President in 1994 and many others suffered for the racial hand to turn. It was all about race that people were treated like animals. It was not their fault, they were to busy running, to stand for their rights and now 18 years into independence.

    If anyone anywhere has the gall to say that there is no racism, even here in the US, then they have never walked in a person of colors shoes. I do not care what color that may be, there is still racial slurs and prejudges, and this is 2012. It usually comes from ignorant people who feel themselves better than another. We are all bleed red.

  25. Regina says:

    Good Evening All,

    Hope all is well with you today. Poohpity, I know a little goes a long way in third world countries, but I want the citizens of those countries to have enough of whatever they need. I want the same thing (no lack) for impoverished people everywhere.

    Steve, I’m so glad that my church has a global outreach ministry that provides aid to third world countries. My church has sent aid to Haiti, Africa and other countries that needed help, and I’m happy to say that I tithe and give offerings faithfully! I’m privileged and honored to be able to help other people with a portion of the provision that God gives to me. Praise the LORD for his abundant provision.

    Love to all…

  26. SFDBWV says:

    Oddly yesterday I met with a man from Ghana, Kwabena and I talked, among other things, about life in Africa. He now lives here in the USA and is very thankful for the *privilege*.

    I found it very interesting that he said not only in Africa but in much of the world the disparity of the haves and the have not’s are shown in the sizes of the fences around the houses of the *haves*.

    His brother is a minister and He himself a devout Christian. Small world after all.


  27. poohpity says:

    I do not feel there is anything wrong with having plenty or being in want. It seems to be the condition of our hearts. How do we as the human race feel toward those who have, we treat them with respect and sometimes feel a bit uncomfortable around as if they are better than others because they have much and most feel that they are powerful. Just how they walk and carry themselves with confidence and authority while those with little carry themselves lowly and feel as if they have no value or worth but again it is the condition of the heart.

    Protecting animals and making room for them to roam in allotted land is fine too. It actually provides an income to those who provide the Safari’s and work in the game reserves. But like you said Mart, “Yet, these animals are honored in ways that so many millions of children are not.” I wonder sometimes if because their are so many children and so much need it may be an overwhelming job when you really think about it. I know for myself when something seems overwhelming I tend to procrastinate. We can get a lot done when we take a little at a time and trust God.

    This has been happening for a long time not just in Africa but all over the world so there will never be a shortage of areas to serve. The problem I think comes from ignorance when these things are brought to light is when people act. So getting the word out and the Lord tugging on hearts, His will comes about to be done. Some people who have very much started many works and have opened people eyes to the needs while stepping in to make a difference. Many of those people may not call themselves Christians but are doing the work because they can and I totally feel God will use whomever.

  28. davids says:

    To add another perspective…

    People often justify their not giving directly to foreign missions by saying that the US government gives (too much) foreign aid. Some think it is only making countries dependent on foreign aid.

    Here are some facts from 2010. One-third of US foreign aid goes to Egypt ($1,550 mil.) and Israel (3,175). Neither is a “developing country” and majority is used for armaments.

    Next are monies given to countries like Columbia, Peru, and Bolivia to fight drugs (1,947), and countries like Pakistan to fight terrorism, peacekeeping, and military training (1160).

    Total aid to Africa that year was $648 million, some of it included in the above programs. We need to support missions. This is about people and faith.

    “The increase in the Christian population is growing at a slightly higher rate than the world population – 1.3 percent per year, when the total world population increased with 1.2 percent. The Christian population in Asia and Africa had the highest growth with 2.6 percent and 2.4 percent, respectively.” – Wikipedia

    To God be the glory, but to us the effort!

  29. Regina says:

    Several comments on this blog topic brought this Bible verse to mind… “The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me” (Matt. 26:11, NIV).

    Another translation reads…”You will have the poor with you every day for the rest of your lives, but not me.”

    I believe that Jesus was saying that we’re going to always have people around us who are “poor” in some area of their lives (e.g. physically, emotionally, psychologically, etc.). That is, until those who are of the household of faith…the righteous…the redeemed…the born-again…the children of God get to heaven! Oh, what a day of rejoicing that will be! When we all see Jesus, we will sing and shout the victory! :-)

    Love to all…

  30. BruceC says:

    I remember a devotional on RBC a while back about a successful businessman in Chicago that was a believer. One day he looked down an alley and saw a homeless man. He went over and looked at him and said “Is that you Jesus?”
    He left the successful career he had and started a mission for the homeless. We are to see Him in the needy and those who are hurting. Matt. 25: 34-46.
    One of the best relief organizations to help is Samaritan’s Purse. The stories that they send to us about their work in “Prayer Point” magazine bring tears to the eyes and hope to the heart when you read about how Jesus has turned people around and given them true hope. RBC and others are wonderful for reaching people with the Gospel and assisting other ministries around the world. God bless both of them.
    Sorry, just a few things for prayer. I have an appointment with my pulmonary spec. today for a chest x-ray and breathing test for my emphysema. Pray all goes well. The high pollen count this year has given me some problems lately but hopefully will pass when the pollen does.
    Second; and most important; a brother of Christ that I know on a sportsmen’s forum (a Baptist minister from Ontario), has a friend whose daughter is sick. He is a missionary to the Republic of Ireland and he and his wife lost a daughter to Cystic fibrosis in 2005. Now their youngest daughter (14) has Hodgkin’s lymphoma, type 2. Please pray for them!
    Makes my problem look like a walk in the park.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  31. oneg2dblu says:

    To me the greatest poverty one can have is Spiritual Poverty. It is the very condition every soul is found in prior to their awakening, born again experience into the reality of Christ as their personal saviour. That is really man’s greatested need and greatest reward.
    When Christ told Peter,”Feed my sheep.” To feed his sheep he was not refering to food and water, or the physical needs of clothing and shelter, we all need those things and many of societies current organizations and even the worldly only focused ones are designed to use that need as there underlying purpose. Unfortunately, the real need of spiritual lack is not addressed by worldly organizations, that is where the church of Christ, or every believer, is given the great command, “Go into all the world and baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Sprit.”
    Providing for them what only God alone can do through us who He commands. Yes, Bruce I aggree, Samaritan’s Pu8rse brings them their physical need but always gives them the message of their greatest need,their greatest reward, accepting and knowing Jesus!”
    All Christ Centered organizations are doing what God commands and bringing what God provides, but only as we support them. It boils down to supporting those you believe in and trusting God is using them as well.

  32. SFDBWV says:

    Dear friend Bruce, Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a curable cancer, our prayers for your friend’s family as well as for you.


  33. petros says:

    Hi Folks. Great topic! I’ve read a little about ECFA and I think what they do is beneficial. However I’m starting a search to try and figure out how an average guy like me can gain better understanding or compare charities like Samaritan’s purse, World Vision etc, to see how much of what is given, actually gets to the poor.


  34. oneg2dblu says:

    petros… I supported a child through World Vision for several years and the record of their accountability to my knowledge was equal to that of Samaritan’s Purse, highly credible. I also supported a child through Love a Child ministries in the past, but was not as sure that my intentions were received or applied as I directed. I’m not saying they were misused though.
    Then there were many months of supporting Benny Hinn ministries as well, and hearing of some less than credible accounts about his behaviors, that left me with doubts about how some in the “industry of saving souls,” may misuse their monetary blessings. In all cases, I gave from the heart and trusted God that He saw the right thing was being done by me as I gave as I felt directed to give. To me the biggest thing about a relationship with Jesus Christ is your accountability, Obedience if you will to that still small voice. Did I help to feed his sheep?
    The constant appeal today get the funding for the doing the work of the Lord is ever knocking on our door, in our mail boxes, and ever in our face. Giving through the actual body of believers you serve is probably the best thing you can do with you time, talent, and money. Serving is never a wrongly motivated gift and helping others to serve should not be either. Be blessed as you give, Gary

  35. poohpity says:

    Unfortunately Gary you can not go to up to someone who is starving and offer them the salvation message and not feed them, cloth them, shelter them or give them water. When everything about our message of salvation is shown through our faith and that faith is shown in the works of care to those who are needy. It would not be a very good witness. How would that be loving others as we love ourselves, when you are hungry do you not feed yourself or thirsty and give yourself a drink? Matthew 25:37-45 People do not listen really well when their basic needs are not fulfilled nor do people listen to the message real well when they think they have everything they need either.

  36. poohpity says:

    I was looking for those verses that talk about praying for people when they are hungry and not feeding them and sending them away with only a prayer. Does anyone know that address?

  37. petros says:

    If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? James 2:16

    Once I started paying attention to these verses I found they were all throughout the bible.

  38. poohpity says:

    Thank you petros I know the bible but really have troubles with addresses, lol.

    Excuse me while I vent here for a moment. The new church I started going to after leaving my last church after 22 years attendance, I was so impressed because they stressed reading the bible through “40 Days in the Word” and now they have started a church wide study of “The 5 Love Languages” really? Good grief. Is it just me or is something really not right here. Am I being to picky?

  39. davids says:

    Pooh, sometimes your sarcastic humor wizzes past those of us that are a bit more literal. Of course, the entire gospel tells us to care for others.

    But I can understand Gary’s point. There are a lot of organizations out there that claim to help the needy, but you sometimes wonder if they are efficient at doing so.

    I know some that feel that the Church is all about drawing money out of people. It is important that people understand that our focus is on Christ, and that giving money is an expression of love, but that love can be expressed in many ways.

  40. poohpity says:

    Well David I was neither being sarcastic or humorous and it fails me of how you got that from what I wrote. If you would have been kind enough to ask me if that was what I was trying to do rather than accuse I would have been very honest about it and admitted to it. I was speaking to Gary’s 11:37am post. Next time it wizzes past then let it go and not look for things that are not there.

    Gary, I hope what I wrote to you did not sound like that because that was not how it was intended. It was written out of concern with how we approach those in need whether it is spiritual or physical needs.

  41. davids says:

    Deb, Sorry if I stepped on your toes once again. You wrote, “I was looking for those verses that talk about praying for people when they are hungry and not feeding them and sending them away with only a prayer. Does anyone know that address?”

    Since all of us know that this is not the message of the Gospel, it seemed a bit sarcastic and meant in good humor. No offense intended.

  42. poohpity says:

    David there are a lot of times when I know something is written in the bible but do not know where it was written specifically and I just did not have the strength at the time to search for it but petros did in James 2:16. I do not feel my toes were stepped on at all. Sometimes I am sarcastic but I have been working on that after all the stuff that went on a while ago with Jack, Steve and others. I have made amends with Steve and our relationship has been restored (Thank God) and I tried with Jack. I do not want to go through all that again so I asked God to help me, not to say it won’t happen again but I am trying not to. If I can not say something nice I am trying to not say anything at all. ;-)

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