I’m starting to understand poverty…

No, no need to be concerned about our lack of funds. It’s not our poverty I’m starting to understand. indeed, we are truly rich in all the ways that matter.

We have been living in Aranui for 8 months, the poorest suburb in Christchurch, as the newspapers delight in telling us, along with shots of rusty playground equipment and fast-food signs. We have been getting to know people, mainly through our kids’ friends, and I’m starting to understand what poverty can be. Continue reading

Living below the Line

There is a challenge about to live below the line – the poverty live – for one week. The amount we can spend on food and drink is $2.25 per person (NZ) or $2 (US) per day.

Well, we are beneficiaries, so I thought I’d see how this stacks up with our regular budget, and at first calculation it seems like that’s what we are doing already! and guess what, it’s not hard!

There are a couple of important principles though – don’t waste what God has provided, and be sneaky about using your resources well.

We don’t waste our money on drink, cigarettes or gambling – NZ culture is full of boozing, and lotteries are so much part of prevalent culture that ‘lucky draws’ are even acceptable in primary schools to motivate kids. I have seen the harm of gambling, and we try to avoid all of it.

Sneaky cooking is a way to make food go further – we eat things like steak and kidney casserole, using lambs’ hearts and ox kidney to make a really good dinner, and it feeds 7 or 8 for about $5.00.

I also recycle things, such as the crusts from the end of the loaf, which no one seems to eat. I put them all in the freezer, and when there are enough, I cut them into three or four, fry up some garlic in margarine, and make big croûtons, which the kids hoover up for afternoon tea! Free food!

The other food-recycling which I have recently discovered is using up untouched school sandwiches. I make them into crumbs in the food processor, mix in some sugar, cocoa, eggs, salt, baking powder, oil and milk, and Lo and Behold! nice chocolate cake! This works with various sweet sandwich fillings – just don’t try it with sardines!

Really though, the true poverty is living below the line without Jesus – may you re-discover the  riches of Jesus in your life.

Coming up – a review of a great book called “Re-Jesus’ – when I can find my copy of it.