by Erin Bonnefin,
World Hunger-Tangible Love Funding Team
World Hunger Emphasis Day is Sunday, September 2.
Find more info about Community of Christ’s world hunger ministries here.
I have something to admit: I am indecisive, a dreamer, and self absorbed. Luckily though I am not all of those things all the time.
I dream sometimes about living in a mansion with beautiful views, a pool, fresh organic food to eat, cable TV with a home entertainment room to go with it, big parties to invite all my friends over, a nice car, a well paying job, etc.
On the flip side, I dream of being someone to change the world, an eco-warrior or a great disciple of God. I admire those who choose to be dirt poor but do something great in the world to bring about change and happiness, showing a sense of peace and wholeness and giving all that they have for others.
Throughout life I have gone through waves of wanting to pick one dream side, and also times when I wanted to live both at the same time. I moved to Vancouver, Canada about six months ago. At sunset you can sit at a restaurant on the beach looking out to the city, with snow caped mountains as backdrop. You can get caught up in the beauty, and with the beauty comes lifestyle. There are a lot of original clothing stores, unique little coffee shops with organic homemade foods, and those trendy knickknack shops.
I was told about the homelessness problems the city faced, but did not fully understand the extent until driving one night along East Hastings Street. For many blocks the sidewalk was packed with thousands of homeless people. The latest statistics show there are 2500 homeless in the downtown area, and the number of beds in shelters is approximately 1000. In a city with so much, why are these people starving and on the streets?
Luckily there are also many caring organizations trying to make a difference down there, offering services for mental health and drug addiction and serving thousands of meals a day. Currently I volunteer my time at one of these shelters. I have learned a lot about my own failings, but have been inspired by many of the people living and volunteering at the shelter.
I talked before of my dichotomy within, those dreams are at two extremes. And although I have failings, the thing I know for sure about my life is I just want to always choose to be better. When confronted with others suffering, I want to choose to give my time, my money, or whatever is needed. I read that there will always be poor people in the world. I’m not sure that might be true, but the scariest part is if we just give up and don’t strive to show every person the same love and generosity equally.