May 2014 Gathering: Poverty
(notes taken by Mallory Bingaman)
There is one dominant factor that plays a part in all things that are needed in Dallas: Poverty
Right now, there is a group of people called by their KING to make a difference in this area for the Kingdom.
89% of the world lives on less than $10 a day
99% lives on 32 per day in the US
Your socioeconomic class shapes the way you view the world. Try to open up your mind and think differently. Others in the world think differently than you! If you are middle class, you’re in the top 1% of the entire world.
When I was 13, I was in and out of church, but always involved in camp. It was great. We had fun, got worked up and then everybody got saved! I got saved every year. All kidding aside, I loved camp. When I was 13, signing up for camp ended up taking us to a motel in inner city los angeles for a week. It was very eye opening. We almost had our room broken into by a drunken man and when we told the prostitutes kids at breakfast the next day, they weren’t surprised. It was no big deal, because to them it was normal. It changed the way that I saw poverty, even at 13. I realized I just had a passion for poverty. What is Christ doing in all of us, no matter our status.
Biblical Understanding of Poverty
What would you do If your car breaks down?
Most of us would call AAA! simple as that. But if you’re in generational poverty and your car doesn’t start, you call someone that could maybe help. That person can’t help that moment, but this person gives you a ride. In this, the transportation problem turns into a job problem, because you can’t always rely on getting rides/catching the bus. living wage in dallas is 13.50 an hour. If you lose your job, it turns into not having money for housing; now you have a housing problem. Eventually, going back and forth of finding a job and couch surfing. You begin to stress about all the issues and problems you may have with friends or family because of this. It turns into a healthcare problem and then most turn to substance abuse. We as believers can go in and cut the webs entangling each compartment. We can help.
In poverty, if you have a car, you can use that as a commodity to get things you want in the neighborhood. It is a status symbol. With some, they say they don’t need a car to get a job, but they need their teeth. It’s tyranny of the moment. The present is the most important. You don’t have time to think about tomorrow. In middle class, we have time to think about tomorrow, because today is taken care of and we are very future focused. Our way of seeing the world is very different.
Why should we care about this issue? “What you have done to the least of these you have done to me” that is LITERAL to him. He came to proclaim the good news to the poor. Christ came to the world from a teenage, unwed, mother. He traveled town to town with 12 men. (we would call that a gang today) He came and lived a poor man’s life.
LUKE 4:18&19—if we are his followers shouldn’t we be doing the same?
2 Corinthians 4:17-20—we are trying to offer a whole new life in CHRIST.