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Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Poverty We Don't Know

I have so much to process, but the thing I am really trying to wrap my mind around is the poverty in Kolkata. We are so privileged here in America (even the poor)... we have freedom... they say there is no cast system in India but there is, we have clean water... they do not unless it is filtered, we have food (even the poor have somewhere to go here in America)... a lot of the people in India don't know where their next meal will come from, we have roofs over our head (not any kind of roof, but a roof where everyone has their own room)... a lot of the poor are living on the side of the road in a tent with tarps as their walls, we have hot water... most homes in India do not have hot water heaters and if they do it is only like 10 gallons (trust me it is not enough by our standards). My list can go on and on and on... we are so privileged to live in this country! Words will never be able to describe how privileged we are.

This is very common to see bags of potatoes on the back of a bike. Bikes are a very important type of transportation.

These children were just sitting outside of a business with no adult. This was another common thing to see... children running around on the streets with no adult, parent, or grown up.

There is no law in Kolkata that says you can't pitch a tent and live on the side of the street on the sidewalk. So without that law people do just that.... they pitch their tent or gather boards to make their walls. They cook, sleep, and do life on the side of the road.

With people living everywhere and anywhere there is no trash service, so naturally the trash would just go anywhere and everywhere. Behind the trash pile is the roofs of a little more permanent slum homes.

Here this family doesn't really have a tent or boarded walls... they just live and do life on the side walk. They wash their clothes in city water and dry their clothes on the city rail. This is normal. Normal for the poor and normal for the not poor as they walk by.

I will have to say... with so much poverty and hunger... there is so much smiles. The Lord is there in Kolkata just as He is here in America with me and you. We just have to sit and listen to Him and not let our distractions take over our God. I am not blessed... I am overly privileged. So as I contemplate all of this and try to make sense of it all... I am thinking about all I have... how can I give it to my new friends, who need it desperately for their ministries.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

This kind of poverty is just so hard for me to wrap my mind again. I can't imagine what it must really be like over there. And when I see and hear about places like this I think of the verse, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” I wonder if the rich this verse talks about is many of us Americans and we don't even realize it. We have so much that we start to believe that we have it because we earned it and that we are in control rather than trusting in God to provide for us.