Meeting The Neighbors Next Door

Emily and Kat take us on a trip today. On a boat made of styrofoam. Then on foot through polluted waters. To a home built on stilts.

Philippine Home

Poverty is not merely a physical malady. It isn’t only measured in square feet and dollars. It is an ailment that plagues the mind, body, spirit, emotions and on and on. But for a minute – just a minute – let’s focus only on the aspects of poverty that can be seen. Look at the house again. Just the size of it. The materials. The location.

Let’s go inside. Here’s the kitchen.
Inside Filipino Home

Here’s where mom and dad sleep.
Inside Filipino Home

The kids’ room.
Inside Filipino Home

And the living room.
Inside Filipino Home

And the…well, you get the idea.

Now, pretend with me that the family living in this house is not connected to Compassion International at all. The children who live here don’t go to school because the family cannot pay the school fees or buy the required uniform. Even with mom and dad both working the family earns $60-130 each month. They have no health insurance, no church family to pitch in and help out, have never taken their children to see a doctor, and they eat one true full meal every couple days.

And then there’s my house near Nashville.

Our kitchen.

Here’s where Becky and I sleep.

And down the hall, my kids’ room. My son’s bed.

My girls’.

Our living room.

My kids see a doctor when they’re sick. Our pantry and refrigerator are full…and the freezer in the garage. We eat three meals every day with snacks in between. With my job I’m able to pay for all this. We have a church family that comes to our rescue when we need help. We have a pretty good life. Actually, we have a great life. More than we need.

I have to get on an airplane to see children lethargic from malnutrition, houses build above polluted waters, families that earn less each month than the average American spends on soft drinks.

But what if I didn’t have to? What if this poverty wasn’t a plane ride away? What if it was next door?


Would that make a difference? In how I feel? How I think? How I live?

What about you? What if the families written about were neighbors? If you drove by their house in your van everyday on the way to yours? If your kids played in the sideyard with theirs? If when your family sat down at the kitchen table for dinner you could see their place through your window?

If their kids spent the night with yours and you discovered they didn’t have shoes, wouldn’t you give them a pair?

If you noticed the children next door never went to school, wouldn’t you offer to teach them or pay their way?

If you saw their bellies distended from starvation, wouldn’t you invite them over for dinner?

If you discovered they had never heard about Jesus, wouldn’t you tell them?

If these ears lived next door, wouldn’t you give them a flick? How could you resist?

Distance makes all the difference doesn’t it?

The children you’ve read about this week are half the world away. But no less in need of your help. And if your house, your life, are anything like mine you have more than enough – many blessings are yours to share!

God has scattered his gifts for the poor among the nations! (2 Corinthians 9) Some of those gifts are in our bank accounts. In things unused we keep in storage. In cable that can we can cancel, caffeine addictions that we can (maybe) break…

Our neighbors from the Philippines are knocking now. May we love them as we’d love the family next door.

Please, sponsor a child today. Your sponsorship will provide them with proper nutrition, education, healthcare, a church family to love and support theirs, and they will hear daily how much God loves them.

Thank you.

Sponsor A Child From The Philippines