Thursday, December 02, 2010

What is Poverty (Repost and Update)

This is a repost of an amazing story from a few years ago:

What is poverty? The gentleman in the picture (wearing the blue tank top) lives in Calajunan, the city trash dump area. In the picture behind him you can see the mountains of trash. He works in the trash collecting things like pieces of metal and plastics in order to sell to recyclers. He lives in one of the most awful places I have ever been. Even though I have been to Calajunan many times, I always nearly toss my cookies whenever I go. On the surface he would be considered among the very poor--that he is living in extreme poverty. Actually he is a very good father with a blessed family. Through his work at the trash dump he has been able to send his kids to college. His oldest son graduates this year while another son is just starting. He walks to work, it probably takes him about five minutes. He probably thinks that anyone who commutes ninety minutes to work each way is living in poverty.

Through the satisfaction he has gained from his hard work, being able to put his sons through college and offering them a brighter future, he is probably richer than most.

Update: Go To Nations missionaries Nate and Abegail Shuck have started a new project in the Calajunan dump area. They are building a church in Calajunan with the goal of reaching that area with the Gospel of Jesus Christ through discipleship, a feeding program, children's ministry, and livelihood projects. This is an exciting new chapter in ministry here in Iloilo.

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