In East Africa where we were until ten years ago, we were also surrounded by poverty. Not everyone responds with compassion to the challenges. Some of us relatively comfortable folk will harden their hearts against any possibility of pain or become numb to others, and many have to strive desperately just to climb out of poverty, with little spare capacity.
My mum was the daughter of a prosperous padi farmer and she once said to me; ‘It took me a long time to realize that the people working in our home had the same value to God, as I.’ This realization was slow to come for someone brought up in relative privilege, but the values lived out by her parents filtered down into her life and convictions were formed that shaped her. She too learnt to live life, serving others and passed these values on. I see a parallel with the privileges that I, and so many of us in developed nations have over those in the two- thirds world.