Merging and Purging at the Poor Farm

We've been back in Texas for a year trying to merge kitchens, closets, medicine cabinets, garages, and offices from a house in Texas, two houses in North Dakota, a creekside cabin, and an RV. Without a doubt, we have too much stuff

We played a game with coffee mugs. Which is your favorite? Put it in the coffee cup cupboard. Cupboard. That's a nice word I learned to use up north. Which is your least favorite? Put it in the thrift store box. How in the world did we get so many?

When I got to the kitchen drawers that wouldn't open without sticking my hand inside to rearrange, I just dumped them. What I found was shocking: Shocking.

138 toothpicks, 
114 bamboo skewers, 
36 corn holders,
17 bottle stoppers, 
13 metal skewers,
7 lid grippers,
5 bar-b-q lighters,
4 pair of kitchen shears,
4 temperature guages,
4 rubber spatulas,
3 can openers,
3 jalapeno seeders,
3 biscuit cutters,
2 melon scoops,
2 bar-b-q brushes,
2 pizza cutters,
2 garlic presses,
2 pair of Pei Wei chop sticks,
and not one of anything.

But while I was sorting staples, scissors, pens, pencils, and note pads - I had a serious flashback to a day in another life time. I was keeping a close eye on my paper clip at the bank's drive-thru window. I just didn't have many precious paper clips to spare or money to buy another box. That teller had better not keep my paper clip, I thought. 

Was I poor? Did I think I was poor? Today, I think poor is relative.

Proverbs 13:41 says, "When you are kind to the poor, you honor God."

"The rich and the poor shake hands as equals - God made them both!" Proverbs 22:2

Poor is defined as lacking sufficient money to live at a standard considered comfortable or normal in a society. Maybe it depends on which society. 

1.2 billion people worldwide live on under $2 per day, according to Wikipedia. Two Dollars.  Most of us waste that much every single day. A medium size Dr. Pepper will cost you two dollars and five cents at Dairy Queen.

Today, I can buy a box of paperclips for $2.00 or less or a lot less. Or maybe four boxes or maybe ten.

Ed and Rosa Salo, Mama and Papa to children at the Lily of the Valley Orphanage in Aldama, Chichuahua, Mexico (click here to visit their website) spoke at church about compassion, connections, and rewards. Samuela, who who was the Salos driver on their journey north, was, according to Ed, a bruised, battered, bleeding nine year old, when he came to Lily. He now works along side Ed and Rosa to bind up the wounded hearts of the children.  Our church has supported them for at least 10 years and several years ago, I joined a group from church, to visit Lily. We freely crossed the border with food, clothes, and bedding. Today, no one is allowed to cross with these items. There are so many needs there. The children seldom eat meat. Their buses are broken and they have only one van to shuttle the children to their schools and doctor appointments, and we, as in the church, have purchased a van for them. These children came from the poorest of the poor, and are richly loved and cared for in the safe haven of Ed and Rosa's care.

Mexico, according to a 2013 report, has a 21.3% poverty rate. 21.3% of Mexico's population live on less than two U.S. dollars per day. My friend and neighbor went to Mexico recently. She took my bags of closet cleanouts in suitcases to her family in Mexico. She can cross with them, because the cases are viewed as vacation clothes. She says, "When you are poor, everything fits." Sometimes, she walks across the border and meets her sister on the bridge to exchange suitcases.

Guatemala, Mexico's neighbor to the south, has a 62.4 poverty rate, according to the same report. We have helped His Appointed Time Ministries (click here) a little and seen the needs in person.

Uganda's poverty rate is 88.2%. Do the math: only 11.8% of the population does not live in poverty. Houses are mud and grass. Floors are dirt. Food is very little and medicine is almost nonexistent. We have sent sewing machines, blankets, and schoolchildren sponsorships to Uganda via, His Joy Ministries. Click here to view.

The poverty rate here in the United States is 13.5% according to the 2015 census. I have a suspicion that the poorest of the poor here in the US might seem wealthy in Uganda.

And if wealth were judged by the number of loose paper clips on my desk or coffee cups in my cupboard, then I am truly a wealthy woman. Even without counting those things I am wealthy. I am thankful and blessed beyond measure. Count your blessings.

1 comment:

  1. You are simply amazing! What a challenging blog! It was worth the wait and I look forward to every post!!!


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