I hate poverty.
More than 30,000 children will die today, most of preventable diseases, most living in extreme poverty.
THIRTY THOUSAND. It’s unfathomable.
And today, it’s more than a number.
It’s someone I know.
My beautiful Maureen, who has worked so hard to rescue her immediate family from the clutches of extreme poverty, first using her small University allowance from Compassion and more recently her salary from Mercy House, has suffered a devastating loss.
Her family unit: her mom, her sister, her two brothers and her 7 year old nephew. She’s lived with them her entire life. Loving and guiding, looked to as the leader of her family.
I’ve spent time talking to her mom, brothers and nephew. A few weeks ago, I offered to bring “snickers” in June (the chocolate candy) and the whole house cheered. It turns out it’s the same word for tennis shoes.
Our family had a blast shopping for shoes.
Dimmy, Maureen’s sweet seven year old nephew has been sick. I’ve prayed with Maureen, talked at length, watched her watch him suffer.
Yesterday, Dimmy died of a preventable disease.
And while I want to shake my fist and ask why, and ask the world to stop, so we can mourn that beautiful boy, I know he is with Jesus. And to be absent from the body, is to be present with our Lord.
Poverty is more than a statistic. It’s someone’s son, daughter, a nephew.
29,999 other children died, too.
It won’t make the news.
Your friends won’t mention it.
Your church probably won’t either.
And I can bet, you won’t read about it on a blog.
PLEASE PRAY FOR MAUREEN AND HER FAMILY. They are struggling and are facing the unthinkable.
“You and I, we are the Church, no? We have to share with our people. Suffering today is because people are hoarding, not giving, not sharing. Jesus made it very clear. Whatever you do to the least of my brethren, you do it to me. Give a glass of water, you give it to me. Receive a little child, you receive me.” -Mother Teresa
Poverty is more than a statistic. And that’s why I cannot keep quiet.