I've been doing a lot of thinking about the Third World over the past few years as I study their economies and especially now as I am going to be living in Ethiopia. It has always struck me at how little I understand the level of poverty that people in these countries must face as there daily reality. So many people in this world must live without those things we as Westerners consider necessities: basic health care, shelter, education, adequate clothing and food.
So, for the next 6 weeks I've decided to "eat with the poor" to gain a better understanding and appreciation of what they go though. For starters, I'm cutting meat entirely out of my diet, it is a luxury that many must go without. Then for every week I'll be picking a different place in the world that experiences poverty and I will model my food consumption around their eating habits. I got this idea form a blog entry I discovered though Urbana's weekly email update (Urbana is a by-annual missions conference). Here's the plan.
Week 1: Kolkata, India - A lot of rice and lentils
Week 2: San Francisco, USA - Leftovers and dollar menu
Week 3: Guatemala City, Guatemala - Oatmeal, rice, and potatoes
Week 4: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - Red beans, corn, and rice
Week 5: Cairo, Egypt - Bread (pita), fava beans, and some vegetables
Week 6: Moscow, Russia - Cream of wheat, bread, potatoes, and soup
This is going to be a challenge to say the least. But as I'm hungry these next few weeks I'll be reminded of the countless millions who don't have it as good at me. I'll be intentional about researching and praying for these people. My intent is to do this "fast" with some of my friends... two of them have already decided to take on a week with me each. Please pray for me and for the world. I'll keep you all updated on how it goes.
Note: I just found out in church today (03/01/09) that in the history of lent, Sundays have never been included in the fast. This is because Sunday has always symbolized the Resurrection and is meant to be a day of celebration. And because you cannot celebrate and fast at the same time, Sunday is not included in Lent. Also there are 46 days in Lent and it is a 40 day fast - Sundays are not include.