Today in Chiang Mai we meet with Vance and Juanita. Vance walked us through two exercises. The first one was a discussion about our journey. The second was a problem tree.
Our journeys are a path and we need to be moving forward. We heard yesterday at the Not For Sale Asian Pacific Forum on Human Trafficking that at times we stumble but that moves us along our path a little faster. It is good for us to know where we are on our journey and where we are headed. We all talked a little about where we were on our path and we are all in a similar place. That is essentially being the feet and hands of Christ to serve Him walking with poor to begin a process of alleviating poverty.
The second exercise that we walked through was a problem tree. Imagine a picture of a tree above the ground line and the roots below the ground. Write the issue on the trunk then write the effects of the issue on the branches of the tree with the causes that we do not see on the roots of the tree. We went through this exercise with poverty on the trunk and then we worked on the cause and effects of poverty writing them in the branches and the roots. It is a very interesting exercise in helping us think through the cause and effect of poverty. One realization that I think we all came to is there is not one simple answer to rid ourselves of poverty and all the issues are intertwined.
A big part of this, I think, is for us to live and work through Isaiah 1:17 especially the first part. “ learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.” (Emphasis are mine.) Learning to do good requires us to read, think, talk, and process. Seeking justice calls us to work against broken systems that keep people in poverty. Of course this brings up many questions and issues that will not be solved by one person, one organization, or one answer that fits all situations.
How are you “learning to do good” and “seeking justice.”