I’ve been on a personal odyssey of sorts these past few months to better understand poverty and our responses and responsibilities towards it. I don't quite know why, but I do know that poverty is a subject near and dear to God's heart, and so I guess it is a good thing that it is growing near and dear to my heart as well.
I have been involved in helping alleviate poverty in very small ways: through volunteering at a homeless shelter in Hillsboro, Oregon as well as serving food to homeless youth in downtown Portland. And of course my wife and I have also written checks to various charities, as I’m sure most of you have.But I’ve found myself asking questions like these, and maybe you have as well:
“Is my money doing any good?”
“Why are these people homeless?”
“Am I truly helping when I volunteer?"
"Why do I see the same people in line for hand outs over and over again?”
“What is the best way to spend my time and money to help alleviate poverty?”
And maybe the most convicting question for me:
“Do I really care about these people, or am I just helping out to make myself feel better and more fulfilled?”
Who are the poor? One thing I've discovered, is that I am poor in many, many ways. And yet, I am also rich beyond measure.
Where will this journey of being challenged by poverty lead?