Tuesday, December 15, 2009

working poor...

If you give the the poor, your needs will be supplied! But a curse upon those who close their eyes to poverty--Proverbs 28:27

In our society homelessness is widely spoken about. On a global level, we are moved by gut-wrenching faces of emaciated children from third world countries. We stare surreptitiously from our car window at a bushy-faced man holding a sign willing to work for food.

What we may not see or be aware of are those Americans who try with all their might to make ends meet, yet come up short every month. The socio-economic label is working poor and they comprise 28 percent of American families. According to data collected by the US Bureau of Labor statistics 21 million children live in low-income working families who parents are categorized as making 200% of the national poverty level.

The report notes that working poor families "lack the earning necessary to meet their basic needs--a struggle exacerbated by soaring prices for food, gas, health, and education. About 60 percent of working families are forced to spend more than one-third of their income on housing, and nearly 40 percent lack health insurance for one or both parents.

The question remains, what are YOU doing about this? I'm not too sure it's the governments responsibility to feed my neighbor, but I am totally sure as a lover of Jesus Christ and a copy-cat of his ways, I am called to do so. While President Barak, bureaucrats, and bankers worry about tomorrow, I will help those in need today. Who do YOU know is in need? Who can YOU help? Will YOU help change the world one person at a time?

*Edit to post: If you would like to help blog commenter "ap" buy purchasing Christmas gifts, please email me at bianca@inthenameoflove.org. This may be your opportunity to help those in need!

28 comments:

Tish said...

so interesting you post this because i thought of this when i watched the cosmetics vlog....i struggle between these two....spending the money to "paint the barn" or spending the money to help those in need. the amount of dough americans spend on beauty supplies each year is staggering...and yet that amount could easily fill hungry bellies. your thoughts on this?

love your Christmas card!!!!

Michelle said...

We decided to skip buying gifts for adult extended family this year. We took the money and hit Costco to buy diapers, formula & baby food for a local crisis nursery. Watch for an upcoming photo-blog post about it. Soooooooo rewarding!!!

Anonymous said...

Watching the video just made me home sick. I love our church and miss my pastor and my church family.

I must say that we fit into the percentages that you mentioned, never the less we rejoice becuase we KNOW Jesus and I know that HE is good to us.

Thank you for the awesome Post!

~Maria

D to theee G said...

Thanks for the vid Bianca! All I can say is wow.

This whole issues has been weighing on my heart alot lately. Especially with it being cold, holidays coming up and I see so many people in need and lonely. Tears my heart to be honest. I try to buy warm meals when possible....but I so am willing to give up any sec of my time to help in anyway - even if just to hold a conversation and make somebody's day better. If I don't have the funds, I have the time to help.

Anonymous said...

I am reminded of this song by Sherri Youngward, "Broadway" and ask myself, how many times do I simply walk by? Admittedly, I have walked by far too many. I think if I just give away the dollars in my pocket that person will take it, abuse it, use it for something they shouldn't and take it for granted. Yet, isn't that the very thing Jesus did? He died on the cross for our sins, provided the free gift of salvation and we deny Him, abuse the privleges we are given everyday and use our lives for something other than glorifying him.

Oh that I may see with the same eyes as God does...

"Broadway" excerpt...

A young boy begs for money On the corner of the street

I see him almost everyday but our eyes never meet

I wonder where you came from I wonder where you'll go

I wonder if you disappeared If anyone would know

You were hungry You were thirsty

You were lonely And afraid

You were crying And no one heard you

You were dying and no one came

I'll never forget you Your face is etched in my mind

You held out your hand And I just tossed you a dime

Sitting on the sidewalk With those eyes so blue

I'd give anything for another chance Just to talk to you

Father forgive me I know not what I do

When I walk through this life When I walk right by you

These faces and memories, these places I've been

Lord, help me to see you when I see them again

Diandra Ann said...

Ag, Bi... Tears again!!! First of all, this is possibly my fav song of ALL TIME. I wrote a blog about it a while back. Second, this is a constant struggle for me. Where do I start? How do I help? What can I do? Amazing. And Jas got AWESOME shots! Such a cool thing you guys did.

christy said...

this has been on my heart lately too...everytime i stop at a corner i try to give...and the other night i was thanking God for my warm bed because it was so cold and my heart just broke for the homeless...i was like, " we need to buy socks, gloves and scarves for those out there on the street..." i haven't done anything...i am in that percentage as well and often feel frustrated I cannot give more...but yes time is something I should give more of...

Anonymous said...

Bianca, I did not watch your vimeo, but was there ThanksGiving Day. Just a few days ago, A family member with a family of 6 called us with this issue, we are being kicked out, no money, no food, no car, no place to live, 4 kids. We Prayed and let them come to stay with us. We are now a family of 10 people, 2 birds and a cat in a 2 bedroom 1 bath apartment..that makes 13! My Husband and I are educating them, equipping them and have given them a time frame of which to find a home of their own. Realistically of course, but My Question to you is "what do you do with the people who keep making the same mistakes over and over?"

So, I have a need. I'm off on disability, I am in need of Christmas for 10 people, 4 Children and 2 teenagers, 4 adults.

The two Husbands have jobs, but our money is going to put food on the table, theirs is for a home and car of their own.

The little Children, 4 and 9 have no toys and the little one needs PJs, Momma needs undergarments..etc.

Prayer is where we go, for Gods direction. For my Family knows the Power of Christ, the other does not.
Right now, my home is divided and in utter shambles..but I know My God is able to do all that I ask.

Can I do more, yep, there is always room for improvement.!
To God be the Glory!

ap

Anonymous said...

Ummm....thank you for this post BB! I am a stanch believer that you can help change the world one person at a time and is our responsibility as disciples of Christ to be His hands, His feet & etc! ...so AMEN my friend, AMEN!

-j

Bianca said...

@tish: this barn is a bargain barn! i'm all about taking care of skin, but not at the expense of others :)
@michelle: I LOVE that idea. that is so awesome. please blog it!
@maria: we miss you and the family too. but we KNOW you are doing what you're suppose to be doing! all my love...
@DtotheG: yes, time is money. furthermore, it has LESS to do with what we give and MORE to do with how we give. conversations and eye contact are better than loose change.
@anon: those lyrics were truly inspirational. thanks for sharing.
@diandra: poverty isn't always financial. there is spiritual poverty and YOU (my dear friend) are lavishly pouring it out to kids. do your thang'!
@christy: you can totally help AP. she's in total need and this could be your chance to help :D
@j: one person at a time!

Angie said...

Love the video, didn't want it to end!! Was blessed to be there. I will be emailing you.

Brianna said...

I think Bomb Squad should help ap. Whadda ya say??!

christy said...

ap...do u have an email adress?

Just Saying..... said...

@ Michelle (from prior post)

Let me take your issues with my comment one by one since you took the time to reply and write them! They each deserve an answer!

Disclaimer: Today was quite the day with lots of things going on so I will be brief and do the cliff note version of answers if that is ok. :)! God Bless!

1.) "I'm sorry for whatever experience you've had with the church to think that it just wants money"____________________ I have never had a bad experience with the church other than on Easter the Manhattan streets were packed with Bridge and Tunnel types clogging up my church and I sat in nose bleed zone. And there was that girl who I was dating who required me to attend her church services which she was an usher and while I was supportive, a waste of my time. We broke up because she wanted marriage too much instead of dating.

2.) "God is a hoax"____________Any proof otherwise? I'd like to believe but it just seems to me that everything associated with God is also associated with money! I welcome him to visit me and prove "he" is real. I'm ears open and arms spread!

3.) "I am 17"______________Not buying it with that detailed response but is so touche to you! I charge 25% of all bookings to be an agent. Let's get rich! God says rich is good!

4.) "but maybe you still want to hear what I say"___________ of course! Maybe you are God!

5.) "God is real"_________who says? How do you know?

6.) "I prayed to God and he changed me"____________maybe the devil changed you to be a future puppet for "him"? Maybe it was your parents teachings and you changed yourself and it had nothing to do with God? How do yo know it was God who changed you? Self credit is a wonderful thing!!!!!!!!

7.) "New Christian"_________I always like newness! Did the "old" Christians do something wrong which made it proper to call yourself a "new christian"? Sounds like a "church" thing to recruit new money donating members!!!

8.) "If you are serious about if finding out if god is real"____________Yes I am! God, please show up in my bedroom tonight and tell me ........(fill in the blank)! Point being, what can "God" do for us? I can't think of anything that isn't fake and not based on money, control or power. Can you?

Sorry Biancster if this is off topic but Michelle posted a wonderful message to me on one of your previous posts so I only thought it respective of her to reply.


:)!

Cindy said...

This post is so wonderful and is about helping out others in times of need. Helping out those that are struggling, hungry, and need help. I think the previous post is a little uncalled for. Why do you read this blog about Christ if all you have to do is say negative things. Why do you waste your time, why not read something else...so that you don't have to leave horrible comments. I'm sorry that you are so unhappy...I will pray for you.

Bianca said...

I opened my inbox and was moved. Like totally, overwhelmingly, completely moved.

Several people offered to help "ap" and we (as a weird online community of friends) are going to help our family.

As an FYI I would never support or advocate anyone I didn't personally know. Not only has "ap" secretly read the blog since the inception, I know this reader personally. This individual's profession is to aid those who are dying or those in hospice. This individual was at my mother's side when she had cancer. This individual has a beautiful special need's child and now 7 house guests. Now WE are going to help :)

I will be personally email those who would like to help :) God is good all the time...

Excelente said...

Yep yep,...kinda my message as well! So so so many fakes, evils, churches, people, groups.....on and on!

Then girls, guys, relationships, and all of the above!

My one belief........there is NO GOD!

If there were, all humans would not have so many questions about life and the hurt that "god" allows!

For a god would not allow hurt!

Not buying it! But willing to listen.

Just Saying....

Harmony Loves said...

Bianca you are amazzzzing! I love this post...it's so easy to worry about tomorrow and oneself but what we need to think about are the people in need today. I grew up poor and it was the local church that provided us with christmas gifts and clothes- I will always remember the feeling

Lydia said...

Bianca, such a great reminder this time of year. My parents have been a great example of this. A couple of years back, we gave up giving gifts to each other for Christmas in order to make sure our focus was on Jesus and helping others. We now adopt a family from Salvation Army to feed and gift. My mom also put together a bunch of bags to give to people begging in town. The bags have healthy snacks, water, and some basic necessities. As a Jesus follower, I have more joy doing this than I ever did in years past! I can't even begin to give as much as He has given me!

rebeccannb said...

Bianca ~ I love this post! There is so much that can be done! I have worked with homeless ministries in my city and beyond. Its always been a blessing for me to go and give of my time, and resources. (Also, I don't feel its the governments job to do what the church should be doing!)

Jennie Finch said...

Bi, I'm in to help AP! Let me know! Bri, good idea! xo

Anonymous said...

Fellow Christian Sisters of this Blog,

I just received a call from Bianca, her words of offerings made me cry..(I was on the freeway driving!) My Husband and I were talking last night and we both said "If God Brings us to it, HE and only HE will get us through it!" I am once again humbled by His grace and mercy upon our Family. I thank each and every one of you for your offer to help for your yielding yourself to Gods guidance, following His commands. As I sit here, I am still in shock and awe and still very tearful. I shared this news with my Husband immediately after my call with Bianca ended and He cried as well and said he was just given some extra go go juice to do more work today then told me that he has been blessed with more overtime from work!

Sisters, We serve an AWESOME GOD! He does reign from heaven above. His wisdom and power and might, He is an awesome God.

I pray that each one of you have a Blessed Christmas season and that each one of you are blessed way more than I am.

Humbled by His grace and mercy...(again!)
ap

ps...To "Just Sayin" Open your heart and your eyes..God is Movin..He is movin in your life. You would not be reading this if God was not in your life. Open the door and let HIM in...He will do amazing things with your life...He did mine, He can and will do in yours. Trust, step, Believe for with God..ALL things are possible. When you see a green leaf..Think God!

ap

Allie Marie Smith said...

Thanks B for this post. I enjoyed seeing the faces God ministered to through you and many others at this outereach. Faces of individuals KNOWN TO GOD!
"To whom much is given, much is required." Thank you for pouring out and inspiring others to do the same. You are a "sweet aroma"! xoxo

Anonymous said...

THERE IS A GOD...You want answers to your questions,
1. Read the Bible,
2. Go to Church,
3. Keep your money (God don't need it)
4. Pray
5. Give of yourself to the calling of the Holy Spirit.

I will pray for you that your heart may be softened n the door opened.

Anonymous said...

AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Celia Jimenez said...

Its so funny you posted this. Just today I was talking to a friend about giving...we have been on the receiving end of a blessing so many times and we are anxious to be in the "financial state" where we can in turn bless others. As soon as those words were out of my mouth...God brought the widow to mind and the picture of her parting with her last coin...just to serve and worship her God. Amazing! Totally new perspective!

Kayla said...

Wow, I feel way behind. But yeah, this hurts. Sucks to read. Because I was one of those people, and despite seeing my mom work herself to death my whole life, we're really not any better off. And now I'm in a miserable job which isn't leaving me with enough money to really help us out at all. But I do remember the years where God allowed us to live on $4,000 a year and we had cable, food, everything we needed, and Mom has absolutely perfect credit and no utilities have ever been cut off. Ever. We shouldn't have made it, but we did. And that's why I will never be convinced that God is done with miracles.

Anonymous said...

Kayla,
God is the maker of miracles. Trust, seek, believe.
In regards to your job, Do it for Jesus.Work for Jesus. When you do it for Jesus, you will have an whole new outlook on your job. I was in the same situation last year Christmas, in an office..not me! but because I was in the office, I learned valuable tools and was able to land the job that I have today! With God, all things are possible.

xoxox u!
look up!
gonna remain anonymous.

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