We come from all walks of life, ready to give of ourselves to those in need. Some of us have a deep spiritual core, others are struggling to find it.
It’s amazing to hear of someone who has devoted many years of their life to this mission. Others just retiring or searching to fill a void in their lives, find that joining a conference brings a new dimension and perspective to their daily activity.
We come from all income levels – some have experienced poverty as a child, others have never found themselves in financial need. Most of us have credit cards, bank accounts/assets and family to rely on for support.
What about the people that we serve?
Living in poverty is a challenge, a mindset, and a way of survival. Whether homeless, receiving disability or food assistance, or part of the working poor, the daily struggle to meet one’s personal or family needs belongs to all.
What is it like to not be able to pay one’s rent, to worry about eviction and searching for the next place to rest? What if there is not enough food to feed one’s children – not because their favorite foods are gone, but because one’s monthly income is gone? As the winter months arrive, followed by utility shutoffs, how does one keep their family warm and safe? Consider facing eviction with six children and nowhere to go. The list of needs that face a person with limited income or resources are endless. The list of resources to fill those needs is not endless and many times not available.
We question why some Neighbors in Need are reluctant to share their whole “story” or perhaps demanding in their requests for help. Is our expectation that one should be grateful for help?
Reflect on the lives of those that you have encountered as a Vincentian. Could you survive in their place – living day to day in survival mode, dependent on strangers and agencies to fill the gaps in income and needs?
Yes, it is hard to be a Vincentian, without judgement, and giving of love and kindness to our neighbors. It is much harder to be that Neighbor in Need.
Please pray for our Neighbors in Need and for all Vincentians.
God bless to all,