Tuesday, June 23, 2009

"Economic Struggles Need Community Change"
By Lenette Evans

We don't have to look far to realize there is desperate need and injustice in the world. Nearly half the world lives on two dollars a day. Over 850 billion people go hungry and starve everyday, millions of children are dying of malnutrition, and over 20 million children have lost one or both parents to AIDS.

People have desensitized themselves to our economic meltdown and towards the poor and homeless. People today are living way beyond their means and spending money as if they won the lottery. Our congress, president, and media have torn our nation to shreds and packed our minds with false promises, doing nothing to help the people. But we can help ourselves too.

Our economy is having neighbors starting to talk to one another who have never talked before and asking each other for food... At local grocery stores people go in to shop and are having hard decisions to make when buying food, toilet paper, bread, shampoo, and laundry detergent and end up putting items back because they don't have the money - choosing what their priorities are like having food before needing laundry detergent.

Stores across the USA and here in Berrien County, Michigan are arresting people for shoplifting at least one every half hour. People are poor, homeless, hungry, and have lost their jobs. Michigan has the highest unemployment and many cannot even find a job at all. So when people have no job and no money they are shoplifting even if its just for a sandwich or a loaf of bread.

In Berrien County we have several hundred homeless people. The soup kitchen, local food banks, and church food pantries are doing what they can, but community donations from the public are low and shelves are empty.

Here in Berrien County we have young children and infant babies who are going days and weeks without food, clothing and proper nutrition and some of our homeless have died on the streets. There is NO EXCUSE for people in our own community to starve and die from lack of food when we have people and businesses which could and should open up their hearts and feed and clothe the poor and desperate.

There are people in this community who live extremely wealthy lives. It would not be a financial burden for them to write a check and donate food, clothing, sleeping bags and school supplies to help the poor in our community. Jesus took two loaves of bread and five fish and fed 5,000 poor people. If you want blessings upon your lives, your finances, your homes, and health, give abundantly the way Jesus wants us all to do. We are to be extravagant givers to help the poor.....WE ARE "ALL" ONE PAYCHECK AWAY FROM BEING HOMELESS.... but none of us ever knows when or who will be next.

My neighbor is days away from having her electricity, water, and gas shut off because she is late paying her bills and cannot afford to pay right now. She has had threatening letters about having her home taken away if she does not pay her mortgage payment. She tries to keep her lawn mowed but cannot afford gas in her lawn mower and often her yard does not get mowed. She needs home repairs but again NO MONEY TO HAVE IT DONE.

Many times I have gone over to my neighbor to give her bags of food because she has no money and lives on welfare. She has an old car that does not run, she has severe MS and I have often seen her crying because she has no food and no money to pay bills. I have tried to help her and I have prayed with my neighbor many times and I have gone to her house to plant flowers in her garden and to rake her leaves many times. These are small acts of kindness to show my neighbor I care, and I do.

I only wish there were many good samaritans out there to help as well, and to get involved with other neighbors' lives to see THE DIFFERENCE WE ALL CAN MAKE. Recognize the needs of neighbors right here in our community. Our world, our communities, and neighbors need JESUS - so what are you doing to make a difference in someone's life today and thereafter?

Don't just be a pew sitter on Sunday and live like the devil through the week. Our community needs to Stand Up...Rise up...and Get involved - and pray for global and community change.

Lenette Evans, Saving Souls Ministries, 269-876-1848, Savingsouls1@yahoo.com

Please contact if you would like to donate money, food, clothing to help the poor, homeless & children in our community.