Do we, as a church, care about people who are struggling financially, either in our community or around our state? Do we care about families who can’t afford to properly feed and clothe their kids? If not, then we can just move on. But if we do care about them, then here are important things we need to know:
The U.S poverty level was defined in 2012 as an annual income less than $23,300 for a family of four, or less than $12,000 for an individual. The overall poverty rate for North Carolina in 2012 was 17.2 %. So about 17 out of every 100 North Carolinians live in poverty. Apparently that rate hasn’t changed much in 25 years. Here in Franklin County, it is only slightly lower, at 16.7 %.
This website from WRAL has lots of information about the poverty situation around our state. You can see which kinds of families are more prone to living in poverty (like half of single mother families with little kids!) and explore each county.
WRAL made a 22 min. documentary recently called “Every Fourth Child,” about what life is like for North Carolina kids who live in poverty, and what is or isn’t being done about it. To watch the video, go here.
In Matthew 25 Jesus said, “When I was hungry you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in…. Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” That’s one reason we keep a Food Pantry available for people who need help getting food. We’re not okay if there is someone in our community who isn’t able to get food.
So it’s worth asking again: is that something Hickory Rock should care about? If so, what should do?
It’s a big task, helping people who need a hand to get back on their feet. But we don’t do it alone. Like Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 2:2, when things were challenging, “with the help of our God, we dared to.” That should motivate us too. Yes it’s a big task, hard and unrewarding, but with the help of our God, we dare to do it.