After, I wrote the blog about the issue with the begging, I knew I wanted to come back to it. However, as I started exploring the issue a little bit, I quickly realized that it won’t be a short one, so I am going to do a sort of blogging mini-series, cause no one wants to read my ramblings for three pages at a time! I highly doubt this mini-series will be as enthralling as something you would find on Lifetime (ha!), but maybe it is just me working through the issue out loud.
I wrote the prior blog about begging in kind of a hurry and obviously a little agitated, but I don’t want to come across as entirely heartless. I have never actually said no to a malnourished two year old, but there have been times when I have said no to people that I’m sure were hungry or at the very least have less to eat than I do. When I first encountered the poverty here, I was extremely burdened by it but I have noticed lately that now instead of sympathy and compassion I am more often annoyed by the situation. My long commutes to language each day result in me coming face to face daily with the poverty that is so prevalent here. Day in and day out, I am in the midst of the people here and the poverty is very real and very present and honestly, very wearing. My prayer is that the Lord would keep my heart soft and sensitive to his Spirit and not hardened to the issues that are here. In so many ways, hardening the heart is a coping mechanism for dealing with the overwhelming need and helplessness that is here.
I think a part of me wrote that blog asking you to call me out on the hardening of my heart. The need here seems so great and the ability to help so small and the knowledge to know how to act so little that I just kind of yo-yo back and forth between giving and not giving. I never came here with the idea that I would make some huge impact on the socioeconomic status of the people here – that was never the intention. These people have been living this lifestyle for centuries and a three bedroom house with two and a half baths and a garage would not solve all their problems. To make them like Americans is not the goal. Yet it is hard to look the genuine needs in the face day in and day out and feel helpless to make any real difference in their financial status.