Every week we offer a prayerful reflection from a member of the Unbound community. This week our reflection is from Loyalty Marketing Specialist Clair Paul.
I worked for Unbound a few years before I truly felt the weight of the conditions families in our programs experience. In 2016, I accompanied a group of sponsors on a trip to Costa Rica. I had been on similar trips and felt prepared for what I would experience that week, but I had no idea how unprepared I was.
After being in the country for a few days, we visited a community precariously built on a riverbank. We were dropped off several blocks away and walked single file down the side of a highway as cars zipped past. Sponsored members and their families greeted us and escorted us down muddy slopes into their homes. We ducked into a small, two-room residence built with scraps of metal and plastic. The floors were dirt, and water leaked and dripped inside. The children bounced from one dilapidated sofa to the other as their mother told us about their life.
She explained that the river below was a dumping ground for trash and chemicals. Flooding happened often, making already treacherous paths nearly impassible. They lived in fear that their home would wash away or that the government would evict them.
As I listened to her speak, I stole glances at her son and daughter, not yet old enough to go to school. I wondered, “How could this be the reality a child faces every day?” That evening, I sat on my bed and cried.
Oct. 17 is International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Let us join in prayer for those living with less than what they deserve. We’re thankful that the Unbound community provides families with options and opportunities that allow them to create their own paths into full participation in society.
Lord, we come to you with our burdens that seem too heavy to bear. We know we cannot end the suffering of others on our own, and we ask you to be with those living in poverty around the world. We pray that you will give us opportunities to do what we can, so that one day we may see a world without poverty. Amen.