Wednesday, March 12, 2008

America, the Father of the Poor

I have been thinking recently about America and the relationship she has with the rest of the world.  Paul Farmer, one of the founders of Partners in Health, put on my radar screen a US/Haitian "development" project that built a huge dam for hydro power.  This dam flooded a valley and displaced many subsistence farmers driving them to higher non-farmable land.  Left to fend for themselves, they became the poorest of the poor.

 

While in Sodo, a birth family member said to me, "God bless America, the father of the poor."  She was thanking America and me for caring for the children of Sodo, Ethiopia.  The statement came as a bit of a surprise to me, but it was an honor. 

 

These are just two vignettes among thousands that remind me that America is large and complicated.  Some love us for the good, wholesome, and generous work we do in their areas and some hate us for the destructive, careless, and self-serving work that we do in their areas.  It was a blessing to see that at least some of the people of Sodo are truly grateful for the children that have been adopted from there and see America as the father of the poor.

1 comment:

Sherry said...

Great post. This reminds us that no matter what the political climate, and no matter how other countries feel about us, America is a great nation and has always gone out of it's way to help the less fortunate. The American people shouldn't be judged by the actions of our government.