That was the question our friend Rigo, a Nicaraguan pastor, asked when he visited the US for the first time back in 2000. Where he pastors, members of several warring drug gangs lay down their weapons outside and call a temporary truce before coming into church. If they come to faith and leave the gangs, there are no jobs. They cannot support their families. Unemployment benefits do not exist. Churches in North America helped raise money to help him start a woodshop where the guys can learn a marketable skill. They have plans for other projects as well.
“Where are your poor?” our honored guest said.
(I was humbled by his words.
His eyes had observed that our country is rich,
Richer even than what he had heard).
In his country many many are poor,
Much poorer than we’ll ever see.
His church gives away what little it has
Just trying to meet their needs.
We give a little while they give a lot
(Seems like the reverse should be true).
Forgive us, Lord, for failing to see
How many times we ignore You.
Give us hearts to see You, Lord,
In the hungry, poor and cold.
Give us hearts to gladly share
Our lives and the things we hold…
To value our brother
More than our comfort.
To know when we give, we receive,
And that we can never
out-give Your provision—
Lord, help us live
what we say we believe!
In Nicaragua, you see the poverty everywhere. It is not invisible. Here, it looks like even poor people are rich. We try to hide our poverty. But if you look closer, the poor are among us. God, teach us.