Thursday, July 17, 2008

Day two--oranges and housewives

There comes a point in every conference or convention where information overload sets in and my brain shuts down. It happened briefly this morning but I think it was partly due to the negative caffeine forces at work. The issue was fixed post haste and brain function returned to normal.

I heard a couple of gentlemen from Cameroon speak today. They had an interesting perspective on all the aid that is sent to Africa. They stated that aid money is sent in amazing amounts to the government but somewhere between the government and the people it gets lost. And if it does reach the people then the people then just begin to rely on the aid instead of working to do something about their situation.

I've heard that same statement from people about the welfare system in America or in reference to homeless programs. It's an interesting paradox, people willing to open their pocketbooks and help others out of a situation and yet those being helped aren't learning tools to help themselves. One of the speakers said something to this's like taking fish to a bear who should know how to fish. The more fish you bring the more the bear relies on you to bring the fish. The bear soon forgets how to fish and just relies on the one bringing the fish to them. Thus always needing help. This speaker suggested that instead of giving aid money we would be better off funding programs to help the people help themselves.

There's a term floating around here that I've heard before and not thought much footprints. Not carbon footprints, global footprints. As I have unpacked it for myself, everything that I buy, consume, use can be traced back to a beginning. It can be traced back to shippers, carriers, farmers, labourers, etc. It all starts somewhere, thus footprints. What that means for me is that when I consume, buy or use something I need to be aware of the process that it took that item to get to me, aware of those who worked to bring that item into existence and the conditions in which it came to be. I'm been pondering that a lot today and wondering what God is asking me to do with that information.

On a different note, R-girl and I have learned a new song for VBS this year (just a mere three weeks away!!!!) It will be much will the pirate dance that R-girl is excited to teach. There has been much laughter this evening. I'm very blessed with the company I keep.

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