Homelessness…

28 Nov

Blog post by Amalia K., Team Ethiopia 2011

As a child my family and I would always go to NYC to visit friends. Every single time I was there I always noticed the streets fill with people who had nowhere to live, the homeless. My family would always stay at a homeless shelter when we went visited because my mother was very good friends with the people who ran the place. While staying there I would have breakfast, lunch and dinner with the homeless.  Even though I was young, when I would see children homeless on the streets my heart would break for them. During my many visits to NYC I wouldn’t only watch the homeless but I would watch the business men, the beautiful people carrying designer bags, wearing $1,000 shoes and the fabulous train of Limo driving through the city. As I watched the upper-class, I noticed that they didn’t notice the homeless, the ones who has nothing, the ones who smelled bad, and the ones wearing dirty clothing. I was so disturbed by this. I would get so frustrated with them because it was like they saw right through these fellow humans. It was as if you lived on the streets you become invisible to the world around you.  I didn’t understand how they didn’t even notice the poor. I even noticed that the visitors who came to New York City would go across the street to avoid walking past a homeless person, they would hold their children close and look at the less fortune humans as aliens. It was as if just because they were homeless they weren’t as human as the rest of us.

As I was thinking about this issue of homelessness that I noticed while in New York, I began comparing it with the issue of children who are orphans and homeless. The mentality of looking over the issue of poverty and homelessness has been adopted not only here in the USA but also around our world. I feel like if it is out of sight, it’s out of mind. If we avoid the issue long enough, it might just disappear.  All around the world children are orphaned and homeless. In my research I found information about the children in Mumbai, India. These homeless children are known as “street children”. They live on nothing but what they have managed to steal or beg for. A lot of these children have run away from homes because they were sexually abused and are now living on the streets begging and stealing (http://i-indiaonline.com/sc_crisis_theproblem.htm). There are currently 35 million orphans in JUST India. These children are all too often taken in by terrible people who send them out to beg so that they can profit from these children. A good familiar example of this would be the movie “Slum Dog Millionaire”. Imagine our children or a child we knew and loved were in a situation that was equal to what these children experience. Would we not change our thoughts on this issue? Would we not stop at anything to try and get that child out of their slavery to poverty? Do we not do everything we can to make sure our children have more than enough food, clothes, water, and love? These children that are being sexually abused and are homeless yet they are just as precious in God’s sight, should we not then treat them as such? I urge us to stop turning the channel or stopping at just sad emotions for these children. Homelessness is very common when it comes to an orphaned child. Mother  Teresa said “Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.” Not only do these children need our help to get off the streets, they need our care, they need our love.

We need to throw away the mentality of “Out of sight, out of mind”, and move from apathy to action. If we will not move to help these children, then who will? If we all just say “Someone else will do it” then does it really get done? Homelessness is one of the scariest things that a human can experience. Imagine being an orphan without anywhere to go and no one to protect them. That just scares me to death. I have start changing my thought into actions, the Lord has put these children on my heart so strongly. My heart is with them and I am so blessed, humbles and awestruck that God has opened this door for me to put my words and prayers to action. My prayer is this; this tragedy of abandoned children without homes, will be tackled head on and overcome. Also that we don’t look through this issue, that even though it might be out of our sight, it will be on the forefront of our minds. I am very much looking forward to this trip to Ethiopia and I can’t wait to be used as His hands and feet.

Dear Lord, thank you so much for all the blessing you have abundantly given us, please teach us how to bless others with those blessing. Let us never forget the cry of the orphaned and abandoned children in our world. Let our nation and others come together fight for these children. Please keep this on our minds and in our hearts. Amen. 

Amalia K. will be serving on the Ethiopia Journey 117 Team leaving in December 2011.

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