Today we visited another impoverished neighborhood in La Ceiba, home to 13 children sponsored by people from City Community Church. The kids were energetic. Grateful. Full of joy.
But the conditions were what you’d expect in a neighborhood slum.
Enter the dilemma.
I can’t fix what I see here in La Ceiba, Honduras. I want to. I want to bulldoze these wooden shacks and their pitiful dirt floors. I want to build suitable structures to house human beings. I want to make sure every child has two parents, and every parent has a respectable paying job. I want to stop people from living this way.
I want to. I really want to.
But I can’t.
So many layers to any mess that creates this kind of poverty. Corrupt politicians. Socio-economic injustice. Drug cartels and gangs. And no ability to imagine a different future.
Poverty cycles. And then recycles. You can’t unwind it in 7 days. You can’t just make a few phone calls, call a town hall meeting, give them the Eliminating Poverty for Dummies book, and fix the system.
But you can help one.
Mandy and I can help Jorge. The LaGranges can help Anna. Bill can help Caroline, and the Browns can help Jose. Andy can help Angel. Lindsey can help Kenneth. Mike can help Isis. And CityCom can walk alongside a little block-wall church called Lilly of the Valley in the outskirts of an impoverished Honduran neighborhood.
But maybe more importantly they can help us, too. Help us lose our self absorption. Help us separate our understanding of God’s Kingdom from our American way of life. Help us find Jesus living here among the least of these.
Some days I wonder if those aren’t actually the things that need the most fixing.