Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Semana de Pobreza - Dia 3...

Reflections on "Poverty Week" at El Pozo:

Wednesday – A Day Without Wheels…

The challenge for today was to forego the use of cars, buses, taxis, bikes, skateboards, roller blades, unicycles, etc. in order to identify with the large majority of the world, a.k.a. people who primarily get around by WALKING. The point is to reflect on the luxury of motorized transportation in juxtaposition with the reality that millions of people have to walk long distances just for basic things like going to work, receiving medical attention, or carrying clean water back to their families – that is, if they are blessed with access to any of those things at all.

For me this was an inconvenient date for this, because I realized last night that the ministry cash box was running very low and that I’d have to walk to the bank. So what is usually a 7-minute drive became a 50-minute walk. I left my house at around a quarter till 8 AM and arrived 7 minutes before the bank’s opening time of 9 AM … only to find that the bank was closed today. Come back tomorrow, the sign said. Easy for them to say!

So I walked aaaaall the way back down the big hill to the Casa Verde in plenty of time for our weekly staff meeting, even with a stop by my favorite local restaurant for a cinnamon roll and a “freshspresso” (a delightful mix of espresso, orange juice, and vanilla). That totaled 35 pesos, plus I had already spent 10 on a juice up near the bank, and I couldn’t help but think that by 9:30 AM I had already nearly doubled the $2/day amount from yesterday…

In spite of the surprise from the bank, I really enjoyed the morning. It was a beautiful day for a long walk, and I listened to two podcasts, a sermon, and several new songs I downloaded recently. These are very “tank-filling” activities for me, so it was a good time.

After the morning my day wasn’t really affected much at all. I walked to lunch, which I pretty much always do. And I walked home, which I do roughly half the time. Thankfully, today was one of those days when it didn’t rain in the afternoon – a rarity in the Autumn here. So walking home was nice instead of soaking wet and miserable.

And here I am. We are tired and I’m about to run out for a pizza … oh snap! It just hit me – literally as I type this – that I can’t drive to the pizza place and it’s too far to walk! Looks like we will be ordering pizzas, or I will walk down to the taco place…

The Scripture that came to my mind today was this one:
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" – Romans 10:14-15

Which is a reference to Isaiah 52:7 –
How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
who bring good tidings,
who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion,
"Your God reigns!"

Thank you, God, for good and comfortable shoes, for German engineering and the blessing of a car, for a workplace that’s a 20-minute walk from my door, and for a sunny day in a rainy season.

Tomorrow is “Donate Shoes Day”. I have at least a couple of still-usable pairs I can certainly part with!

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