Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Are drunks in Wales less worthwhile than abused children in Cambodia?

Chris and some others from Linden have just returned from visiting a family in Cambodia. The family lived in Swansea for four years while Glenn did his Ph.D. before returning to work with trafficked and abused children in Cambodia.

Chris was telling us about his trip and saying that the country had a very different feel, a bit like Africa but different again. He told us about the amazing people they met and the work going on there and said you can't imagine it unless you've been there.

A while ago I wrote about Chris returning from visiting the orphanage Linden helps support in Zambia and saying something along the lines of, 'Everyone should go there to get out of their comfort zone and see what real need is.' I wrote - and i spoke to him about it - that I felt it diminished the work done in this country e.g. in Zac's. My family and life commitments don't allow me to spend a couple of weeks experiencing what Chris sees as real life. More to the point, I have no desire to.

But that does mean anything I do here is less important?

Yes, sexually abused children have no say in their treatment and it's horrific; alcoholic grown men choose their way of life (to some extent). It's much easier to feel compassion for wide-eyed orphans.

I was talking to Husband about this when we were out walking George this afternoon. I always feel that he puts up with my do-gooding as it keeps me happy and wasn't sure what his response would be. What he said surprised me.

He pointed out that each individual is needy in their own way and, what's more, to suggest that someone isn't a good Christian because he doesn't go to Africa for example isn't very Christian. (Not that Chris was saying that.) And he said that he's very proud of me for what I do at Zac's and in prison. He's never said that to me before.

Some times I love my husband.

P.S. Then I think perhaps just by writing this I am showing my own prejudice, my guilt maybe, my need to be valued, my insecurities. Oh, phooey, a little therapy insight is a terrible thing.


James Higham said...

Just keep doing as you're doing. Simple.

Leslie: said...

I agree with Husband in that what you are doing is far more than most already. I know people from my former church who go to places like Africa, etc. but they don't even pay their own way. They get others to pay their way and then they get all the glory. So I kind of wonder who are the true philanthropists? those who go via other people's $$$ or those who stay and do what they can right here at home. It's scary to see some homeless people even in my own village!

NitWit1 said...

I have always admired your work and there are more alcoholics in the special environment that must be Zack's.

The Holy Scriptures say we each are given different talents. I have friends in Panama. I contribute to them. some in my church go there. I do other things in my home town as my church is in a different town.

In the words of The early comment, "keep in doing what your're doing."

I believe the Lord knows what each and every one of us is capability of and is trying. I dislike those who put the "comfort zone" guilt on others.

Ole Phat Stu said...

Short answer: yes!
Because I expect self-control from all adults.

nick said...

The idea of a heirarchy of need in which some people's need is much greater than others is a bit ridiculous. Some people's need may seem less from the outside but they may feel just as distressed and dehumanised as those who seem more needy. Whatever you are doing to help others is valuable.

Furtheron said...

you do what you do and you help people - ignore the others.

Furtheron said...

@ole Phat Stu... if it were that simple frankly, no disrepect but this shows your total lack of understanding that addiction is a mental illness and it normally grabs the sufferer long before they have any idea that it has and once it has its claws in you the battle to get out is not an easy one. A simple statement "don't drink" it maybe you try that when your body, mind, spirit and soul scream for the need for the alcohol to allow you to live.

I'd have given anything not to have become and alcoholic but I did - and now I am that never stops, every day, every minute I have to work at not drinking - it is simple "don't drink" but never easy

katney said...

4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.


St. Paul doesn't mention baking, but then he never tasted your cakes.

MaryB said...

The simple answer to your question: No. Each, every, all are God's children and worthy of love and compassion. Different folks are moved to do different things. Your work at Zac's is amazing. Oh, and one doesn't have to travel to Cambodia or Zimbabwe to experience what it's like to be outside one's comfort zone. I suspect many people would rather travel to Cambodia than have to work at Zac's. What incredible work you do, Liz!