Beyond Charity

Early tomorrow morning I leave for Nicaragua.
With me will be 7 other adults and 20 or so high school students.
Most of those who are going will leave tomorrow with the impression that they are going to help.  They are going to help build homes for families.  They are going to help those who do not enjoy the financial resources they do.  They are going to help people who are poor.
I hope the come home thinking differently.

Somewhere along the way in the week we are there I hope we talk about the difference between charity and compassion and the difference between helping and supporting.  Somewhere along the way I hope that all those who are with me step back and realized they have made new friends, and that their neighborhood is a bit larger and their world a bit smaller.

Here is the reality…
Charity is easy. Compassion is hard.
Helping is easy. Supporting is hard.
Living in a small neighborhood is easy.
Living in a large neighborhood and small world is hard.
Mixing cement is easy. Living with your eyes open is hard.
Eating rice and beans every day is easy.
Realizing that is all most people eat, if they eat at all, is hard.

I hope we are willing to do what is hard.