Monday, 29 September 2008

A word for the defence

Thank you to those who commented on the last post. I feel I want to say a little something in defence of the pastor in the displaced community we visited, who asked if we could help him buy a sound system for his church. The community's great need is for land, about 5 hectares for every family, so that they can be self-sufficient in food. There are 60 families in that community and land costs about £2,500 a hectare at today's exchange rate. Even with my shaky arithmetic, I can work out that that comes to a whopping three quarters of a million pounds. Until someone comes along with that kind of cash, maybe a sound system is a modest and realistic request, which is not to say that it needs to be a priority for me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ah. Context is important when thinking about these decisions. I guess I didn't have the whole picture. But then you only asked to choose between four options, and you didn't explain much about the land issue...

Maybe we take stuff like that for granted where I am.

Well, there are no maybes about it. How much does my church spend on stuff like cushions on seats and kitchen repairs? We never question our "need" for these things.

Maybe my comment was coloured by the fact that I still have memories of the local branch of the Israelite Church of the New Covenant in the town where I stayed in Peru and the celebratory meeting they had when they got their new sound system. They were very happy with it. So happy that they stayed up all night rejoicing and singing with their (horrendous!) singing and guitar playing echoing round the valley where we stayed.