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poverty

Protest at Republican National Convention in Minneapolis.
PHOTO /bradley stuart/indybay.org

By Lenette Evans

We live everyday where lives are hurting, people are dying and homeless people live under bridges and in dumpsters and alleys. Others live in poverty wondering how they will make it, and children go to bed night after night with nothing to eat right here in Berrien County!

Psalm 41:1 says: "Blessed is he who considers the poor...." The bible has a lot more to say about our attitude to the poor than it does about some other things we hold dear as leaders. There are three attitudes to guard ourselves against if we are to effectively respond to the needs of the poor.

EXCUSES
We can have a myriad of excuses that can prevent us from helping the poor. We can hide behind our busy schedules, our lack of resources or our perceived distance from the problem. This is the equivalent of crossing the road when faced with the reality of people's needs, circumstances and situations. It actually says a whole lot about where our priorities are and who we are. Proverbs 21:13 says: "He who gives to the poor will not lack, but he who hides his eyes will have many curses." If we respond to the needs of the poor God will give us the provision and capacity to continue to do so.

A JUDGMENTAL ATTITUDE
Ignorance can cause us to make wrong judgments about the poor. We can make presumptions about why people are poor, how happy they are, how smart they are, and their willingness to be helped. A judgmental attitude ostracizes us from the very people we are meant to be helping. Proverbs 28:11 says: "A rich man may be wise in his own eyes but a poor man who has discernment sees right through him." The homeless and poor have to learn how to survive on the streets to get through life.

A MORALIZING ATTITUDE
Churches must stand up and get involved in the community. We need to keep a spirit of cooperation and an attitude that says 'Together we can make a greater difference'. On our own we can do a little, but together we can do a lot. Being part of a church that has a vision and getting behind that vision will cause us to be more affective than each of us trying to do it on our own. There is truly strength in numbers.

I would personally not be doing street ministry work in the community and being involved bringing homeless people and others to church on Sunday, if it were not for the vision that God gave me almost seven years ago at a prayer vigil at Broadway Park in Benton Harbor almost 7 years ago.

Come on people, hop on board and get involved! Proverbs 29:7 says: "The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern."

If we have the attitude of looking for the opportunity to be generous, and finding people who need our help, we will never have a problem living life generously God's way everyday!

Lenette
Lenette Evans
Saving Souls Ministry
269-876-1848
<mailto:Savingsouls1@yahoo.com>Savingsouls1@yahoo.com





If she were your daughter would you let her walk away
In pink clogs if she were your daughter her skirt a bell
In the light wind or a butterfly wing all by itself aloft

If she were your daughter would you let her
Clasping with her arms her flowered waist
Climb the dump of Port Au Prince that ridge of filth

With all the others to look for food?  No.
Rather than see her on that reeking mountain
You, if you could, would bring this system down.

~Cathleen Williams
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