Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Laos - my reflections

The team...it's like a mixture of ingredients which made an awesome recipe. From L-R
Yen Hau aka Mr Cool, Owen Yap, Michael Wong, Suat Peng, Susan Fong, Wan Ting (holding the camera), Lucent, Sam, enn@j, Niki (in blue stripe shirt) and Yee Lee.


I asked myself two questions before I depart to Laos. Of course, I was only referring to the material aspect but little did I know, I was shown more than that.
“What is poverty?”
“To what point do people become desperate?”

In my last WV blog entry yesterday, I wrote:
“Poverty is when you have nothing to begin with, you are poor not because you are lazy.”
“Desperation is when you yearn so much that life would be better for your children but you realized you do not have the capabilities to change things.”

In Laos, I learnt much just by crossing paths with the people there – the families we visited, the world vision staff serving selflessly and most of all, the great zeal for life evident amongst the children. Children who learnt what the words Responsibility and Sacrifice meant at a young age – at an age where most likely, I am still struggling to find my identity, probably full of complaints and self pity at my own life. But these children, they are amazing kids. Life maybe difficult...even the word ‘difficult’ itself does not do them justice but what inspired me were their smiles despite the bleakness of their uncertain future. Smiles that made me realized how much the modern worlds today have stolen away from us – the genuine warmth and the simplicity of Joy. They literally do not worry about tomorrow, what they will eat or drink or wear. Or maybe they do but it just didn’t show on their faces.

Are we poorer than them? To a certain extend, yes.
We are often times, full of complaints and self seeking; judgmental towards others and often times, filled with own pride. In these, I speak for myself too. What they lack is a starting point to a better life and that can be helped through organizations like World Vision. But what we lack is the right hearts, no organizations can help mend that.

I look at them and I understood what Joy really means.

It is being able to smile even though faced with an uncertain future; not wallowing in self pity and complaints but continue to work hard and having high hopes for a better future.

What more is there to complain if we claimed we have Jesus, which means we already have everything we need. So what is poverty for a Christian? IMHO, it is living only for ourselves.

That lesson to me, like Citibank says…is Priceless.
-----------------------------------------------------
I also blogged about the trip here and pictures are up here and here too
-----------------------------------------------------

5 comments:

Ayesha said...

Poverty has become a major problem. Its bigger than what people perceive. Its the responsibility of every person to help the needy. I came across a community http://www.orkut.co.in/Community.aspx?cmm=47234928 which is about The United Nations' campaign to End Poverty by 2015. The campaign revolves around 8 major goals which, if accomplished, would ensure eradication of poverty.

Aditi said...

I truly agree with consciousness awakening part of the post.!Nice article.
People rating poverty as poor from their hearts is the first step towards any revolution to be taking place..

The Millennium Development goals of the UN..works this principle..!
@ ayesha i m also a member of this community and glad to be a part of it .

enn@j said...

hi ayesha and aditi,

Thanks for dropping by.
Yea, WV is part of the efforts in helping to eradicate poverty by 2015 in the Millennium Development goals.

Steven Sim said...

“Poverty is when you have nothing to begin with, you are poor not because you are lazy.”
“Desperation is when you yearn so much that life would be better for your children but you realized you do not have the capabilities to change things.”

Spot on!

Steven Sim

enn@j said...

first time you signed off here, not using "Jacksaid" ;p

Thanks bro for dropping by