Today is blog action day. The topic this year is poverty. Of course, victims of poverty are not able to access this conversation, so we need to be careful not to adopt a "let them eat cake" attitude.
I don't really feel qualified to make a meaningful contribution to the conversation, since I have been blessed with a life of (relative) privilege.
However, while you're here, may I ask one favour?
If you have the means to be reading this post, then you have means above and beyond the wildest dreams of the vast majority of the world's population. Please consider using those means to access an online charity related to poverty and make a donation. If you can't think of any charities, I shall list some at the end of this post.
Alternatively, swing by your local Oxfam or Sally Army with a bag of clothes or children's toys. To put things into perspective: I once asked a friend who worked with a poor community near Cape Town if she could use some of my kids' old clothes, or if they were too shabby. Her response was: "The worst thing you have ever thrown away is better than the best thing they have ever owned."
A representative of MAF was recently explaining to us how the spiralling cost of fuel was crippling their efforts... and how the poorest people groups are so poor that they have no concept of things like the credit crunch and recession. They still see us as being unspeakably wealthy and expect us to continue the same level of provision. They consider it churlish of us to send them less medication and fewer doctors simply because our wealth has dropped from stupendous to astonishing.
Projects to consider (in addition to the links included above):
Christian Partners in Africa
Mercy in Action