Children of the Mountains… Changing the Geography of our Hearts…

14 Feb

20-20logoTonight I watched a 20/20 episode that focused on the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky and the struggles of children growing up in that region.  I don’t really know why I want to watch something like that because I usually come away angry, frustrated or disheartened.  So often the show will only portray the poverty and then make it seem as if anyone from Kentucky lives in the same conditions.  I suppose it is somewhat like an embarrassing relative that you feel like you have to explain to everyone…

So the evening begins with Kentucky native Diane Sawyer.. She admitted she was from Kentucky and loved the state … so far so good…. But then came the subtitles… as if people from the area aren’t speaking English…. but as the show progressed I was glad that they did use them… It allowed all to be able to truly understand the words that were so honest.

For most of the show we were able to watch it as a family…. Each of us had eyebrow raising moments

Here are some of my daughter’s eyebrow facts;

  • A 36 year old can be a grandmother of eight children…my daughter was stunned
  • A 36 year-old with such a hard life can look about 20 years older than 36.
  • Not everyone has an equal opportunity at furthering their education
  • A great football player with a full scholarship to college would give up and go back to what he was trying to escape
  • Coal mining looks scary and dangerous
  • We should be thankful for what we have
  • We should focus on these people as much as we focus on poverty in other nations
  • Drugs ruin lives
  • Mountain Dew ruins teeth
  • Cycles are hard to break

My eyebrow moments were-

  • A young child should never have to make a mother pinky promise that she will not leave them in the night- it shouldn’t even have to be in the child’s mind… what stresskentucky-poverty
  • A young child should never have to worry about having the responsibility to get her mother “out” of the area so the mother won’t die a drug related death… more stress… that stinks
  • Poverty is practically in my backyard so why haven’t I really seen it… why do we go looking for it when maybe we are looking past it
  • You don’t have to be poor even if you are impoverished ….Poverty is financial while “poor” is of spirit…however, poor is a symptom of poverty and both are hard to step away from
  • Pepsico should be ashamed of itself… smart alec statements(“old, irresponsible news)when asked about the Mountain Dew issue in the region (Dentists believe that the amount of Mountain Dew consumption is ruining teeth in the area)  They later reissued an answer but the first one should have never been written
  • Coal miners seem to make decent money but it is little when lives are risked daily… There is little else to fall back on in the area when you are uneducated
  • The twangy voice of a child singing a hymn about Christ is a beautiful sound
  • Changing the geography of our heart is wise advice
  • Cycles are hard to break

When it was all over I felt as if I had a small wake up call… not so much about the poverty because I have driven by it and seen it before… but tonight I saw the the stories.. I saw the people…

I fell in love with the kids I saw tonight..  I wish I could financially help send the football player back to school and find someone to tutor and mentor him through… He’s worth it.  The little girls who were dealing with the fears of losing their mothers to drugs… I wish there was some way to make their life better so they don’t continue the cycle… They are worth it.

Maybe I can’t step in and help those ones exactly but I can do something… First,  I can pray. That will give me guidance.  Second, I can find a way to physically help the people whether it be through something like Habitat for Humanity or domestic missions trips.  Third, I can give up a family meal out a month and sponsor a child in the United States who just needs something that I can give …

Today I am starting here-

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Posted by on February 14, 2009 in Devotions, Faith, Life Stories


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