Sunday, November 08, 2009

Neighborly :: Revisited

Sorry for the disappearance.  I'm kind of in a hard place.  The lovely neighbors with all those kids I mentioned a while back?  We hang out a lot.  At least the kids hang out here a lot, anyway.  The mamas are still wary of me unless then need something.  (eggs, matches, garbage bags etc.)  And here is my problem.  They need a lot.  More than I have to give, sometimes.  They are now without gas, without electricity, and cooking in the back yard.

We often struggle to make the ends of our budget meet, but comparatively, we are doing just fine.  Their poverty is staring me in the face and I have no idea what to do, or how to help.  We can't really support two more families, but how can we sit here in our largely empty, well heated and well lit house while they are just across the street, cooking over an open fire?!!  (not to mention that it is, in fact, November and while winter is nothing like Maine around here, it can still be bitterly cold)  I need wisdom.  I need direction.  I need to know what will actually help them and not just put a band-aid on the problem.  They already see me as 'wealthy' and, well, I am a bit of a bleeding heart.  I would happily give them our dinner tonight, (and did last night) or pay to have their electric turned back on, but really, that is not the problem.  It would just get turned off again next month.  I am at a loss.  Well.  Not really. I know what it would take to be helpful and to be very honest, it is more time and energy than I have to give.

I've seen others at our church care for those in need and I know that that level of caring for others right now, would swamp and capsize the little ship that is our family.  I called several friends who have been in similar kinds of relationships and they heartily agreed that this is a job for a church (or a larger organization), not one family.  So we start on this journey.  There are things I can, and have have already begun to do, but it's only a beginning.  If you do this sort of thing, say a little prayer for our family and the family across the street. 

See you Monday.


Kendra & Tobin Kirk said...

That's so sad...but I hope your church or another church in town can help them and more permanently like you said, not a one month fix. Sometimes we take for granted what we have and when you see a family struggling like they are it reminds you of how lucky you are. They are lucky to have you living across the street. Some people would just ignore it.

Jaime said...

Wow, what a difficult situation. I totally understand your thinking. You want to help, but what exactly is help anyway? You can invite them to your house to stay warm and you'll have guests all the time, eating your food or into everything. Not that that is the end of the world, but that's a lot to handle. But, if you don't offer that sort of help, you probably feel like they just lump you in with other white people or so-called Christians or whatever.

A rock and a hard place. Sounds like you are considering it carefully and prayerfully and wisely. Keep us updated. We'll be praying for you and them.

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