My husband and I have been working out consistantly for almost a year now. Torture. Sometimes I get in the gym and look at the elyptical machine and I talk to it...."You are the devil. I hate your guts". But 45 minutes and 2 liters of sweat later the positive endorphins have kicked in and I apologize to the machine for saying nasty things to it and I feel good.
However, sometimes that 45 minutes only lasts about five minutes when my legs start to hurt, I realize I am starving, I don't feel like sweating, and I call it quits. 5 big minutes in the gym. 7 crunches. And one flight of stairs back into my house. Brilliant Jenny.
But our motto is this...something is better than nothing.
That is also the motto I have embraced when facing the issues of poverty and my role in that big messy picture. Anything is better than nothing. Right now I am thinking about debt cancellation. I am 27 years old and I am just finding out what that is. Worse than that, I am just realizing that there are countries in the world, who without debt cancellation, will not survive.
Think of debt cancellation this way. Say I had a house (I don’t) and a baby (not yet) and then my husband and I had to pay for the baby, the house, the car, the insurance, the doctor bills, the groceries, etc. However, imagine that we were young and naive and poor and a long time ago we got a little credit card happy. Maybe for survival, maybe because we didn’t spend our money wisely, who knows, all you know is that we have debt, a lot of it. Now, ten years later, we get money from our jobs and maybe granny and granpy send some money our way each month, but by the time we pay off our credit card bills each month (which remember are drowning in high interest rates now, in fact, now we are actually just paying off interest and not the principle), we are broke. The baby is crying, but we can’t feed her. The rent is due, but we can’t pay it. I get sick, but I can’t afford to get medicine. We may get ahead a little and we work hard but we can never get out of the bondage of the debt we owe. We are drowning in it. So we end up homeless. Broke. Sick. In a van, down by the river.
Inappropriate, way too soon for jokes.
So what would happen if someone came and alleviated that debt so that the money we were making in the present could actually go to help us? What if someone forgave us our debts?
I think that Jesus would call debt cancellation, debt forgiveness.
This month a crucial bill is being brought before congress, it is called the Jubilee Act, and while the vote is still out, it desperately needs to pass. It would allow for debt cancellation in 26 of the most poverty ridden countries in the world, most of which are in Africa. Should we embrace debt forgiveness? As a Christian, should I support debt cancellation? I don’t have all the answers, but after wrestling with this issue on a more personal level, I feel like debt cancellation would do a lot more good than harm.
Without debt cancellation these third world countries will never be able to get off their feet and provide their citizens with basic needs like water, malaria and antiretroviral vaccines, health care, housing, and basic education for their kids. Countries who are in a vicious cycle of debt repayment to the United States and other institutions spend up to 75% of their yearly budgets and most of the foreign aide they receive on repaying wealthy countries, so they can NEVER develop themselves and provide for their countries most basic needs. Third world countries have billions of dollars in debt…unless we forgive them of this they will continue to pay us back at the expense and neglect of their own suffering citizens.
Look, here’s the deal… I have realized I cannot save the world, but there is a lot that I can do, and I think supporting this bill is one of those things. We can all do something to help end poverty. It is an emergency, a call to us as mankind, as Christians; not a cause.
If you want to join with me and show your support for debt cancellation, all you have to do is let your representative know that you support this bill. It takes less than a minute. Click on the link below, fill out your personnel info and The ONE Campaign will send a letter to your representative on your behalf.
The ONE Campaign is helping to end poverty, now. Have you joined them yet??? Take a minute to look at their website and see how you can help. We can all do something. Repeat to self: we can all do something.
Cause something is better that nothing.