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Embracing the Cause

Poverty is complex and multifaceted. It robs power, extinguishes hope, and saps the soul.
Imagine drowning in shallow water. You keep fighting because you don't give up on anything! But your strength and resolve slowly fade. No matter what you try, nothing is working. Little by little, because of the exhausting never-ending struggle, you eventually stop fighting so hard. You're worn down, beat up, and don't even recognize yourself. Your unbreakable spirit has been extinguished. You're not who you once were. You've lost yourself.

Serious systemic problems: failed governments, famine, high utility costs, political instability, changing weather patterns, drought, overpopulation, low literacy, corruption, high unemployment, weak currency, poor soil-fertility . . . just to name a few

As a woman...

You married a young man in the village who could provide for you. You made sure your children were ready for school each day, then joined your husband to work the farm. Over the years your marriage deteriorated, turning abusive, and your husband no longer worked to take care of the family. So you decided to take matters into your own hands. You’d heard brewing moonshine was easy and lucrative. You knew it was illegal, but you convinced yourself that it would only take a couple months to save up enough to start a reputable business. Ten years later you’ve contributed to the destruction of countless marriages and homes. Your life is in shambles: you have no relationship with your husband, you and your children are being abused by your drunk customers, and your children never returned to school because they work for you. Can God be good when your life looks this hopeless?

As a child...

You loved school. Even though it was difficult, you worked hard, dreaming of a good life as a doctor, engineer, teacher, or small business owner. Then one day, your parents told you you couldn’t go to school anymore—Mom needed help with her business. Now you are always hungry because the only thing to eat is the disgusting corn and millet mash left over from her brewing. Sometimes you steal some moonshine just to help you fall asleep when the hunger is unbearable. You remember all sitting outside eating vegetables and ugali at night. What happened to those days? Now Mom and Dad are always fighting, and you have your own bruises as evidence of how strong Dad is even when he's drunk. And you don't even dream about your future anymore. You just wish to stop being hungry, sick, and in pain.

As a man...

You never finished 5th grade because your parents couldn’t afford the school fees. Your dad farmed so you helped him, learning the basics of planting and harvesting. But today's unpredictable weather and decreasing soil fertility mean that your farm yields only half (sometime not even one-third) what it used to. You can barely feed your family. You too have had to pull your children out of school because you can't afford it. The stress is mounting. You continually hope the next season will be better . . . but it never is. You’re out of options with your farm, but you have no other employable skills. With no light at the end of the tunnel, you begin drinking a little cheap moonshine just to quiet the voice telling you you’re a worthless failure. Fast forward a few years and you're now so addicted to the toxic local brew that you wake up thirsting for it. You beat your wife and children out of suppressed anger and frustration. God is dead to you, and you only want to forget everything by getting your next fix.

As a woman...

You married a young man in the village who could provide for you. You made sure your children were ready for school each day, then joined your husband to work the farm. Over the years your marriage deteriorated, turning abusive, and your husband no longer worked to take care of the family. So you decided to take matters into your own hands. You’d heard brewing moonshine was easy and lucrative. You knew it was illegal, but you convinced yourself that it would only take a couple months to save up enough to start a reputable business. Ten years later you’ve contributed to the destruction of countless marriages and homes. Your life is in shambles: you have no relationship with your husband, you and your children are being abused by your drunk customers, and your children never returned to school because they work for you. Can God be good when your life looks this hopeless?

As a child...

You loved school. Even though it was difficult, you worked hard, dreaming of a good life as a doctor, engineer, teacher, or small business owner. Then one day, your parents told you you couldn’t go to school anymore—Mom needed help with her business. Now you are always hungry because the only thing to eat is the disgusting corn and millet mash left over from her brewing. Sometimes you steal some moonshine just to help you fall asleep when the hunger is unbearable. You remember all sitting outside eating vegetables and ugali at night. What happened to those days? Now Mom and Dad are always fighting, and you have your own bruises as evidence of how strong Dad is even when he's drunk. And you don't even dream about your future anymore. You just wish to stop being hungry, sick, and in pain.

As a man...

You never finished 5th grade because your parents couldn’t afford the school fees. Your dad farmed so you helped him, learning the basics of planting and harvesting. But today's unpredictable weather and decreasing soil fertility mean that your farm yields only half (sometime not even one-third) what it used to. You can barely feed your family. You too have had to pull your children out of school because you can't afford it. The stress is mounting. You continually hope the next season will be better . . . but it never is. You’re out of options with your farm, but you have no other employable skills. With no light at the end of the tunnel, you begin drinking a little cheap moonshine just to quiet the voice telling you you’re a worthless failure. Fast forward a few years and you're now so addicted to the toxic local brew that you wake up thirsting for it. You beat your wife and children out of suppressed anger and frustration. God is dead to you, and you only want to forget everything by getting your next fix.

Embracing the Cause

Poverty is complex and multifaceted. It robs power, extinguishes hope, and saps the soul.
Poverty is multifaceted. It is complex.
Imagine drowning in shallow water. You keep fighting because you don't give up on anything! But your strength and resolve slowly fade. No matter what you try, nothing is working. Little by little, because of the exhausting never-ending struggle, you eventually stop fighting so hard. You're worn down, beat up, and don't even recognize yourself. Your unbreakable spirit has been extinguished. You're not who you once were. You've lost yourself.

Serious systemic problems: failed governments, famine, high utility costs, political instability, changing weather patterns, drought, overpopulation, low literacy, corruption, high unemployment, weak currency, poor soil-fertility . . . just to name a few

As a woman...

You married a young man in the village who could provide for you. You made sure your children were ready for school each day, then joined your husband to work the farm. Over the years your marriage deteriorated, turning abusive, and your husband no longer worked to take care of the family. So you decided to take matters into your own hands. You’d heard brewing moonshine was easy and lucrative. You knew it was illegal, but you convinced yourself that it would only take a couple months to save up enough to start a reputable business. Ten years later you’ve contributed to the destruction of countless marriages and homes. Your life is in shambles: you have no relationship with your husband, you and your children are being abused by your drunk customers, and your children never returned to school because they work for you. Can God be good when your life looks this hopeless?

As a child...

You loved school. Even though it was difficult, you worked hard, dreaming of a good life as a doctor, engineer, teacher, or small business owner. Then one day, your parents told you you couldn’t go to school anymore—Mom needed help with her business. Now you are always hungry because the only thing to eat is the disgusting corn and millet mash left over from her brewing. Sometimes you steal some moonshine just to help you fall asleep when the hunger is unbearable. You remember all sitting outside eating vegetables and ugali at night. What happened to those days? Now Mom and Dad are always fighting, and you have your own bruises as evidence of how strong Dad is even when he's drunk. And you don't even dream about your future anymore. You just wish to stop being hungry, sick, and in pain.

As a man...

You never finished 5th grade because your parents couldn’t afford the school fees. Your dad farmed so you helped him, learning the basics of planting and harvesting. But today's unpredictable weather and decreasing soil fertility mean that your farm yields only half (sometime not even one-third) what it used to. You can barely feed your family. You too have had to pull your children out of school because you can't afford it. The stress is mounting. You continually hope the next season will be better . . . but it never is. You’re out of options with your farm, but you have no other employable skills. With no light at the end of the tunnel, you begin drinking a little cheap moonshine just to quiet the voice telling you you’re a worthless failure. Fast forward a few years and you're now so addicted to the toxic local brew that you wake up thirsting for it. You beat your wife and children out of suppressed anger and frustration. God is dead to you, and you only want to forget everything by getting your next fix.

  
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