11974 Willow Grove Rd., Camden, DE 19934 93C Saulsbury Rd., Dover, DE 19904 DECEMBER 2018
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THE HARDSHIPS IN THE WORLD And the Joy in Our Hearts
that ravaged Haiti, many people are now suffering from material loss.
My wife, Jolene, recently came back from a visit to Haiti, where she helped out at an orphanage. We have friends who started the orphanage after the earthquake hit down there, and she went to lend a hand where she could. Jolene acted as a house- mother while she was there, doing anything and everything to help out with the kids. The terrible situation the earthquake left Haiti in and the pictures Jolene brought back to me have been on my mind a lot lately. Not long ago, a sermon at our church referenced poverty and its three categories: material, relational, and spiritual. Haiti has gone through no shortage of hardships, many of which the people continue to fight to this day. The recent earthquake that shook its foundation left many lives in chaos, and my heart aches for them. People living there struggle against these levels of poverty on a daily basis, which many of us here in America can’t even begin to understand or relate to. Material poverty is the most visible and understandable. When people lack the basic needs for survival, including housing, food, water, or protection from the elements, they are experience material poverty. Due to the earthquake
Relational poverty is something a lot of Americans are faced with today. We’ve segregated ourselves from each other. Everyone is on their electronics, and many individuals have a hard time connecting to one another emotionally. In Haiti, many people are experiencing this form of poverty because they have lost loved ones due to the earthquake. When you have good relational wealth, you have a supportive sphere of people around you, which includes family, friends, and even coworkers. It’s often said that if someone is materially wealthy but relationally poor, they’re less happy than someone who is relationally wealthy and materially poor. The last level of poverty is spiritual poverty. The difference between the three is that both material wealth and relational wealth affect our happiness, but spiritual wealth reflects our joy. Happiness is an emotion, whereas joy is a state of being. Whether a person is a billionaire in Silicon Valley or living in a village in Haiti, they both have the same access to joy. The message that the angels sang was for all people, no matter their economic status. The Savior has come and is offering joy and peace for all — that is true wealth.
“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.’”
“The message that the angels sang was for all people, no matter their economic status.”
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