First, I would like to say that I in no way am anti-African relief efforts. I do not want there to be people in Africa suffering in the deplorable way that so many there are suffering.
Now, after that disclaimer, which, I want you to read before you make some comment calling me uncaring or cruel or lazy, I would like to know why it has become the thing to do to send our money to Africa, to send missionaries to African countries, to have large relief organizations to help people in the developing world, but it is not OK to help those people in our own country who are caught in vicious cycles of poverty and joblessness and abuse and who simply have never been taught what I was taught in my stable home.
Do I understand not wanting to allow the government to control our aid programs and the belief that the Church should take care of it? Absolutely. Do I think that there are people that abuse the system? Of course. Do I also understand that some people know nothing more than the system of aid and welfare and have no way to see their way out? Absolutely.
I don’t have a good, solid answer. I have a lot of questions about our motives. I have a lot of questions about seeing church parking lots full of luxury SUVs with the premise of “Well I did the work and it’s my money, so I’ll drive/live in/vacation at/etc. where I want to.” Didn’t God give you those things? Aren’t all good gifts, at least in my belief system, from God? Am I as guilty sometimes on a smaller scale? Absolutely. Did I answer anything for anyone today? Nope. Didn’t Jesus say to the rich man, “Sell all your possessions and give to the poor.” Yep. Do I do that? Nope. Am I just as bad as everyone else? Absolutely and therein lies the real purpose of this post. I want to do better, to be better and I want everyone to do better and be better. Even those people that aren’t like me, even those people who are not Christians.
I realize this post was poorly organized. I realize that probably a lot of people are going to be defensive and respond, or want to respond, with some sort of vitriol. That’s OK. I can take it. I wish you wouldn’t, but I can totally take it. What I wish, more than anything, is that we would all take some time to consider why we do things, who we help, and who we deem worthy of our help and who Jesus would help.