10 Days Without Shoes
It’s late and I’m tired, but I can’t go to sleep. I’ve already turned out the lights, brushed my teeth, and I’m laying on my pillow staring at shadows of the blinds on my ceiling. It’s so hot! Today, we had record breaking temperatures in Colorado with the kind of heat that’s paralyzing. Today the sun even kept the wind from being refreshing. Instead of a cool breeze, I was hit with wave upon wave of hot air as I rode my bike home earlier this evening. In fact, riding my bike was pretty miserable as the asphalt radiated the kind of heat that made me think my leg hair could catch on fire!
But it’s not the heat that’s keeping me up. It’s the hour and a half video that my wife and I just finished watching. The video is part of the Live 58 campaign created in part by Dr. Scott C. Todd. It’s a documentary of sorts, and tells the story of several families all over the world affected by poverty. One family in particular grabbed my attention.
It was the story of a dad who wanted to get ahead in life so he borrowed money from a quarry owner as an indentured worker. Many of us are familiar with the indentured servanthood that gave many Europeans an opportunity to make it and succeed in the New World (16 and 1700’s). This story was not the same thing.
Although this particular dad was working to pay off the debt, he never had a chance to pay down the principal because the interest was so high. Not only did he, in essence, become a slave for life — but if he doesn’t pay off the debt, his kids will also become slaves for life. When the dad get’s sick the quarry owner does not let him off, but instead forces his wife and kids to pick up the slack. Already, instead of going to school, these children are working in open mines every day cutting granite.
What hit me the most was the amount this dad owes the quarry owner. At the time the video was produced, this dad could have paid off the loan with a measly $600! That’s it! Less than most American’s make in a week.
After the video was over, and the TV went blue. My wife and I continued to sit on our plush green couch in silence. After several minutes, I got up, turned off the TV, and asked my wife a simple question, “What are we really doing?” This question came out of the same frustration that started 10 Days Without in the first place. It’s a question that real Christ followers should always be thinking about.
For several hours, my wife and I talked about the different ways we could begin fighting poverty, but we kept coming up against a barrier. This barrier is something that many of us deal with, and it can be very frustrating. What can I do today? and What organizations are worth partnering with?
For the first time, 10 Days Without Shoes didn’t seem enough. I mean really, what good is it to walk around without shoes and act like I care about social issues if it doesn’t accomplish anything? What does it change in the world?
Don’t get me wrong, I want these segments to be both fun and challenging, but I also want them to lead us to something. We need real action. Not the kind that leaves shoes in the closet for 10 days, but the kind that leaves shoes in the closet for 10 days in order to accomplish a need.
But I still have a problem: I don’t know where to get involved. I don’t want to just write a check to an organization, I want to know it’s making a difference and know the family I’m helping. Don’t you?
So I need your help. I need you to help me find organizations that fight poverty that are worth investing in. Do you know of any?
Challenge of the day: research organizations that fight poverty and paste a link to their websites in the comment section below. Tell me why you think they do a good job, and how you think we could get involved. Please comment below…
Thank you for helping all of us move from apathy to compassionate action!
Here’s a trailer for the Live 58 video:
[vimeo 26292088 w=500 h=281]