I had never seen third-world poverty. I’m not sure many of us have.
Yes, there is poverty in the United States but third-world poverty is different. Uncle Sam offers cash, food, housing, education, medical care and other various social services to poor and low-income Americans.
It is not so in the Dominican Republic. There is no safety net.
I’ve seen “Slumdog Millionaire” and I’ve seen the late-night “Feed the Children” television segments. But, I’ve never really “EXPERIENCED” it until now.
- SMELLING the air that is tainted from the trash and the sewage
- HEARING the stray dogs barking and babies crying and wondering if the commotion ever died down to a level where one might be able to rest.
- SEEING the homes and knowing that it would not keep the elements out
- FEELING the emotion of a mother while she shared what it is like to fear for the physical safety of your family because of gang and drug-related activity
To be in the midst of this level of poverty is far more powerful than anything you’ll see in a photo or watch on a television screen. I’m still assessing the impact of the DR trip on my life. But I can say for certain that I’ve gained new insights and perspectives and I’m calling into question what sacrificial giving looks like for me and my family.
There are real people benefiting from the contributions of BTI360 and its teammates and it is encouraging to communicate with them directly and hear their stories. It always surprises me that when we try to bless and serve others that we end up feeling blessed in return.