Responding to poverty

This is a thought provoking article from a great blog, Red Letter Christians.

http://www.redletterchristians.org/on-the-receiving-end-beggars-and-pbj/

My thoughts:

The thing about poverty that really gets me is the loss of dignity. I often ask myself how much self-worth did that person have to give up in order to beg at a stoplight? It is hard for me to ask for help for even the simplest tasks – I can’t imagine what it would be like to depend on other people’s generosity for your subsistence. And how many times people would look at you scornfully and reject your pleas for help.

It is important to remind myself constantly of the power inherent in me. Power to influence people, power to get projects funded, power to say I have no “spare” change.

I recently finished reading Paulo Friere’s book Pedagogy of the Oppressed. This was one of my favorite paragraphs in the book that details how to advocate for and with the less fortunate :

“Elements of Witness”
Consistency between words and actions
Boldness which urges the witnesses to confront existence as a permanent risk
Radicalization (not sectarianism) leading both the witness and the ones receiving that witness to increasing action
Courage to love (not accomodating an unjust world) but rather the transformation of that world in behalf of the increasing liberation of men
Faith in the people

**

We will write soon about our many adventures in December and January!

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4 Comments on “Responding to poverty”

  1. Aimee Says:

    Thank you for writing this. I have been thinking a lot about this lately. I was asked for money the other day in Honduras before I had any Limperas to give. I told the lady that I didn’t have any money. She just looked at me like she knew I was lying. The girl next to me politely said no, shook her hand, and started a conversation with her. I realized then how much of a better response that was to the question for money.

  2. Cassie Says:

    Thank-you for the post. Very applicable to life here in Nicaragua and around the world. I love Red Letter Christian as well!

  3. Michael Says:

    I appreciate your post and the moment of pause it gave me. Thinking about the loss of dignity as it relates to self-preservation is not something I have put much thought into since going on cross-cultural to Guatemala and Bolivia. When poverty surrounds you it becomes difficult NOT to focus on it but when it doesn’t it becomes way too easy to forget about it and ignore that it exists. Thanks for the reminder!

  4. Betty Ressler Says:

    Love you, Adam & Marisa—-yes, I agree!! you live in a beautiful country!! Your parents showed us those beautiful pictures when they were here,Jan. 21. Thanks for the blog. Praying for you every day, God’s love to you!!! My love to you, also. Grandma R.


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