Tweet So many many blogs (over 9,000) are now participating in Blog Action Day, a day of writing about and discussing Poverty in the world. We often think when you mention the word Poverty of … well of some far flung country that someone like Galdof or Bono talk about – it’s out of site, [...]
So many many blogs (over 9,000) are now participating in Blog Action Day, a day of writing about and discussing Poverty in the world. We often think when you mention the word Poverty of … well of some far flung country that someone like Galdof or Bono talk about – it’s out of site, out of mind.
I’m lucky enough (dpnding on how you look at it) in Auckland, New Zealand – a beautiful city with great harbours, sailing and on a day like today – it’s a great sunny place. But even here in this city we have a huge gap between those that have and those that don’t. From those who have a house to live in and those on the street.
See when poverty is thought about in the sense of a 3rd world country, it’s kinda nice and easy to package it up, donate to Kiva.org or World Vision or …. but when you remember it’s in your back yard, now you can do something about it. We don’t hear much in New Zealand about those on the street – it’s easy to think that homeless is simply something for some large US or EU city.
Auckland does have a large (and growing) homeless sector. Manukau City (part of greater Auckland) is full of kids (yes KIDS) living on the street, hungry for life, for food … for love.
A handful of weeks back the church I attend took their youth group out on a Wednesday night (a school night, Oh the Horror), to down town. The kids challenged us in the congregation to help – it was our job to gather some clothing, sleeping bags etc for them to then pass out. What a fantastic opportunity!! One night in these young peoples lives, gives them a glimpse and an opportunity to reach out. Sure they all went home to their showers and beds, but who knows what impact these type of evenings might have on them.
I remember one time visiting in Malaysia we were heading into Burger King for lunch and I felt a tap on my elbow. This young street kid looked up at me, big eyes – hunger written on his face. He was begging for money – and one thing we were told is you DO NOT give them money. Sadly (and I’m not proud of this) I shook my head and continued into Burger King. The child left.
Racked with guilt I ran outside to look for him, I wanted to buy him lunch. It hadn’t been 2 minutes but he was gone. His face in my mind however is not. It haunts me to this day to think I was so stupid that I didn’t take his hand and bring him in for lunch – who cares what the “system says”. I want to cry as I write this – I felt and still feel like CRAP – because I let someone else tell me how to treat this precious child.
I’ve been back to Malaysia a few times since – I’ll be back again for christmas this year. I will be watching, looking for opportunities again & I am now exploring opportunities for the future (nearish I hope) to start a mission in Malaysia working with local government specifically focused at educating and helping these kids.
What about you?
It’s Blog Action Day, you (like me) may not be able to take action today, but you can take action. Next time your local church or group is working with your community to help those less fortunate - do something. next time you see someone on the street needing help - do something. Next time you …. just do something, anything – “a fire starts with a spark, a waterfall with a single drop”
“Take action – just do something!“