Sunday, August 26, 2007

What About the Needy Children in Appalachia?

In the lobby at church today, a lady asked me a question. She told me about a conversation with a friend about our work. Her friend said, “What about all the needy children in Appalachia?” And this lady at church wanted to know what to say to her friend.

From my experience, I’ve never heard a compassionate person make this argument. I’ve heard a lot of people who are trying to dodge getting involved say such things. And I’d be interested to see what they’re doing about the needy kids in Appalachia. That’s not to impugn this lady’s motives. Just curious. That’s all.

Second, why should compassion care about borders? If a Canadian child fell into the Niagara River what heartless person would say, “What about the drowning children in America?” Instead, we would applaud those who did something to rescue the child.

Finally, there’s a good reason why Third World countries are called “Third World.” They lack the social and charitable infrastructure that we take for granted here in America. And the scope of human suffering that you’ll find in these countries is shocking. Few American children survive in garbage dumps. And though human trafficking happens within our borders, it nowhere approaches the scope that you’ll find in these places.

Hundreds of thousands of trafficked children are waiting for us to act. They don’t care about this debate. They just want somebody who’ll help. Why shouldn’t that be you?