My recent trip to South Africa has opened my eyes to issues such as Poverty, ignorance and the theology of Total depravity.
I’m going to look at these three things briefly today and look at them in more depth in the next few blogs.
So why look at these things? Why care?
Well let’s start with Poverty.
First off Poverty is a big problem. Fact. Some people will quite often try to dismiss claims poverty worldwide and locally is on a decline. Quite often in England they will release statistics suggesting that poverty is decreasing when in reality all they do is lower the poverty line so less people are included in that bracket. Mostly single parent households with large families are now being drawn to food banks and relying on hand outs to survive. This is the same problem I encountered in South Africa. But worse. Living conditions, health care even relying on local government all worse. In South Africa you rely on the goodness of those who are willing to help. Who regardless of their situation are willing to help, regardless of the conditions that you come to them in, those seek to help only because the love they have. Driven on by the Love of God and the peace he brings to the hectic and unpredictable life in South Africa. These people are like the Care workers at the care points. These amazing ladies are driven to care and love the children and their carers by the love of God. For them Poverty is a reality even for some of them themselves, but they continue to volunteer to help make other peoples lives better. They help to in still the hope of God in peoples lives. More about them in the blog post on Poverty.
Moving on to ignorance.
You may wonder what this section will be about. Well for me this is a section all about our ignorance. Before I went to South Africa I think I had a selfish heart, an ignorant heart, that some one will help the people stricken by poverty, afflicted by famine and disease. I soon realised after arriving in South Africa that poverty is everyone’s problem. That it should be everyone’s concern. We particularly in the west are ignorant to the fact that someone else is helping out. On Facebook or Twitter we see someone else has been to Africa to help so therefore I don’t need to or an advert on the TV so someone else will donate. But we can not allow this to go on. We must let God open our eyes to our own ignorance and the ignorance not just of the western world but also of those who live with poverty all around them. We do this in England and because of my visit to South Africa it has opened my eyes to the poverty in my own country.
Now finally Total Depravity.
You may wonder why the first point of Calvinism has found it’s way into a post on South Africa and Poverty. Well it all came about after a fellow team member and I had a conversation. You see when you are in a place of so little and yet you come from a place of plenty. When you then realise that across the world we live in plenty alongside those who have little, we walk by, we don’t blink and eye and instead complain about our own lives, we only choose to see the problems in our own lives instead of helping others. Now there will always be poverty, the Bible makes that clear but it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t walk alongside those who live through it. Pride, Ignorance and sins of omission prevent us from helping stem the flow of Poverty. Our totally depraved state is how poverty is at the state it is. In the UK, the US and Africa.
I will over the next few weeks be going into these three topics in a more in depth way.