A month ago, I participated in the Live Below The Line campaign. I spent less than $2 on food for five days.
Poverty and hunger was brought one step closer to my doorstep…they were no longer fluffy words thrown around in the media or sad images to send us on a round-the-world guilt trip. No! They were real experiences.
This morning, I woke up and did some backreading of the Weekend Australian (I’m trying really hard to keep up here! :P), and these words accosted me on page 20.
People eat weeds as starvation stalks Africa.
Seven killed in clashes with police in Mozambique: Deadly riots over food prices.
I remembered my Mozambiqian friend I met at the IMO 6 years ago. I can’t remember the two other guys representing Mozambique, but she is still fresh in my mind. A svelte, beautiful girl named Veichali who taught me how to write my name in her language. I spent some time in her room. Her suitcase was neatly packed, she used a bar of soap instead of body wash, and she was telling me the Malaysia Truly Asia ads always ran on TV and her sister and herself, they’d sing along to it. 🙂 I’m guessing Veichali is probably wealthy enough to afford something more than weeds for dinner, but I hope you see that these people have real lives no different than yours or mine. If I can’t imagine myself eating weeds for dinner, I can’t see why it’s OK for them to do so.
Poverty and hunger are things that are increasingly heavy on my heart. I’m beginning to see that they are not things you can do nothing about. I pay more attention now to organisations that feed the poor. I read the different vision statements (the link here is from Feed the Hungry). I give financially.
And I pray God keeps softening my heart…because these are not people who cannot touch us, whose cries we cannot hear because they’re in places far far away. No, they’re our neighbours who are precious people in God’s sight.
We really have little excuse in an interconnected world.