I have worked for charities all my adult life. When I finished university, I started work with World Relief, where I helped train staff and volunteers going to work in refugee camps in Thailand and the Philippines. After grad school I went to work in microfinance and have continued to work in the area of financial services for those living in poverty for the last 35 years.
At times I have thought about what motivates me to work in this sector rather than in more traditional business. I know part of it has to do with following in my parents’ footsteps. Another part is my preference for work that involves trying to figure out impossible challenges, that is more experimental than routine.
I only began to understand a deeper motivation when my wife and I had children, especially as those children began making their way on that treacherous journey to adulthood.
If you ask me which child I love the most, I will tell you that I love them all the same. But the child that occupies my heart the most at any one time is the child that is struggling the most. When one of my children suffered, I could think of little else but finding ways to help relieve that suffering.
There were times, though, when my care for my children was not enough. Times, as well, when I was far away and could not be present to help them. And, especially in their teen years, times when they did not want my help.
LibraryIn those times, the kindest and most loving thing that any of my friends could do for me was to care for my children when they were suffering.
Our Creator has many children in this world who are suffering.
According to the World Bank, there are 700 million people who still live in extreme poverty. The statistical definition for extreme poverty is living on less than $1.90 per day. In reality it means surviving for days during lean times without food, lacking access to basic medical care and education.
Through no merit of my own, I was born blessed. The nationalities of my parents, the education I was able to receive, the ranges of employment options I could choose from, the woman I married, all are things I was given.
And now, the kindest and most loving thing that I can do for the Source of these blessing is to care for Her children who are suffering. I say thanks by sharing the gifts I have received to those who have less. And as I do, they share their gifts with me, their courage, their strength, their creativity and their joy in the midst of pain.