We had a missions trip recap meeting last week. It was nice to see the people we travelled with and to process some of our emotions about the experience that we all shared together! Such an emotional roller coaster that I wasn’t really expecting.
I think the main thing that summed up our adventure is that poverty is just a matter of perspective. We were in a pretty desolate place overall. The orphanage was quite liveable, but all around it was extreme poverty. The houses were mostly crumbling shacks, garbage was piled everywhere, dogs ran through the streets, and the stores were filled with dusty merchandise in little storefronts.
The interesting thing is that I kept feeling sorry for Americans in the midst of it all. As Lisa stated, “Poverty isn’t always about money. Sometimes our souls can be very poor.” That was solidified in each smile given to us and the kind nature of the Mexican people. They were not consumed with being busy and stressed. They were concerned with their family and friends in a remarkable balance.
We have SO much in our country and yet very often it doesn’t result in any happiness or benefit to our families whatsoever. We begin to be burdened by our things, our children become ungrateful, and our debt weighs heavily on our hearts. It’s just so backwards.
Wouldn’t it be something if Americans chose to live well (compared to the rest of the world), but simply? What if debt was really a four letter word in our lives, and stuff wasn’t a status symbol? What if we revered those who bought a car with cash instead of a loan? I think if we could go back to a balance of a “good” life and yet one that was truly lived within our means, we would have that same joy and perspective as the people in that Mexican community.
It’s not about having nothing and never spending money to bless your family and friends, but I think all of us could agree…a good portion of America has a very poor soul. We need to be on a mission to America to heal our soul and get back to some of the basic principles that are so important to God…love Him and love people.
May you be very prosperous in your heart!