Tuesday, May 24, 2011

"Some people are so poor, all they have is money."

My first day in Lima has been marked by friendships new and old, a remarkable metropolis, insane driving, delicious food, and Christian rock. It happened I flew here on a plane carrying the Christian rock band Leeland who are here to learn about and expand the ministry of Food for the Hungry. We spent the day with them before they split off to tour some of the communities in which FFH has a presence. These were very nice peeps, and youtube says they have the followers.

Over a delicious lunch of remarkable Peruvian sandwiches, we heard from Ryan-- my host, long-time friend, and head of FFH in Peru-- about the history of the organization in this country, and some new initiatives underway. It excites me to hear Ryan describe how a recent FFH initiative began with the question of, "What are the issues facing these communities we desire to assist?" This is different than the starting point of "They need health care/food/clean clothes, etc." They may very well need those things, but what if there's something else these communities deal with that we don't know about until we ask?

This is a kernel, and Ryan shared much more of the whole bowl of popcorn (metaphor fail?) that I will digest this evening. Discussing the reciprocal nature of ministry, he dropped the title quote of this post-- given to him by a colleague-- and wondered if the spiritual transformation many of us need is held in the hands of the poor. Maybe we are here to participate in a relationship that will transform both parties.

I wonder if we at PRLC think this is true when we work in the food bank?

We are off to celebrate Ryan's birthday tonight. Feliz cumplea├▒os!


Above, Ryan (center) and members of Leeland discuss the complexity and simplicity of Poverty Relief in Peru.

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