By Nneka Okumazie
The poverty situation in Nigeria is an emergency. The lives of many are a difficult and distressing experience.
The country is supposed to come at poverty with all kinds of programs, solutions, tests, products, etc. But poverty seems to be a spectacle and hardship is cinematic.
Many have understood that government does next to nothing, so they aim their crossfire at the church of God.
They want the church to help the poor, build schools, hospitals, etc. But these are the wrong ideas of how to eradicate poverty, or what the church should do.
Poverty is mainly caused by income, purchasing power [of that income] and conditions of living. Income is, in part, a function of the economy. Purchasing power often depends on trade, production and monetary policies. Conditions of living can depend on housing decrees, government subsidies or standard of society.
It is hard to understand how, for years, so many houses around the country with single or double rooms – sharing bathrooms and kitchens, have not had a better model.
It is difficult to believe that the nation is comfortable with crowds crammed into a relatively small space, no water supply, no private bath, squalid environment and additional living privacy being external.
There are many people who lived in those kinds of places whose goal became how to get out, not necessarily how they could – with passion – design national models against those kinds of places.
Yes, no one can blame any individual as survival is vital and it’s difficult to carry the weight of public problems on one’s shoulder when there is no support.
However, Nigeria may have a bigger problem of [say] passion poverty than economic poverty.
Everyone, it seems, wants to escape Nigeria’s electricity gross darkness by getting generators, leaving the country, or finding new ways to have electricity.
No one or group has found it pertinent to develop architectures and models on paths to solutions for electricity.
Maybe someone at some point had tried, and maybe failed. Maybe the path was just too regimented. Maybe they wanted to get all the credit, or sought good reward too, maybe not, who knows?
But lots of people with different perspectives, developing, trying, submitting and leaving for everyone else to see could have become a possible way to fight darkness.
Also, there aren’t many people – it seems – in training, or learning skills to apply to solve underdevelopment problems. It is mostly to learn, to earn.
Nigeria has no serious action to improve the conditions of living. Nigeria has no serious action to increase purchasing power and Nigeria has no serious action to improve income.
There are possible broad solutions that can contribute to eradicating mass poverty, and those ideas should be pursued, implemented and supported by organizations across.
But the wrong ideas, which seems pervasive is to do something for say fifty people and think that helping fifty reclines poverty.
Helping fifty people is great stuff, but everyone isn’t in that fifty. The fifty impacted can quickly see the help kneecapped by other challenges.
Broad small business programs are a great model to start. Broad salary programs too can be a way to go. Unemployment mini hours work model can be tried. But there has to be great ideas that organizations can support and would truly help not regular ideas from, like, some banks that look like they’re takers.
There could be great broad ideas that can fit in the mission of The Redeemed Church, where they have some role to play in some small business program, or housing program, or something close, but has to be something great, adoptable, useful and sustainable.
Stuff like that would be better and more impactful than all the agitations to build schools, or hospitals, which they have also done.
There are lots of misconception about the church and their branches. Some have thought that parishes are many because it benefits those in charge, but that is not the case – according to their mission.
The purpose of the church everywhere mirrors what Christ mostly did on earth: salvation, deliverance and healing. It is not to eradicate poverty, or to become training centers, which are, by the way, already everywhere.
The church is not the government, neither are they responsible poverty eradication.
There are so many people that Nigeria has failed.
Normally, it is usually advised that people work, try, work harder, etc. But there are many in Nigeria that there is nothing anyone can say about their situation, they failed because the society failed them.
Often, everyone wants to analyse situations, find reasons and do reviews, but there are just some things beyond analysis.
The child of the poor who could not be sent to school because of poverty was failed.
Anyone can say, why didn’t they, but this other did that, yes, OK, fine, but better to admit that in many cases, poverty undermined progress.
Solution to society cannot always be physical. The church parishes everywhere are, also, a psychological boost experience – with faith, hope and worship – in spirit and in truth.
It is in the church some people learn that to make marriage last compassion and humility are super important. Such are lessons for a cohesive family unit, almost impossible to find anywhere else.
Yes, the church can do more, but should seek broader ways for broader to help as other organizations also move.
Nonetheless, the church cannot be bothered by those who understand nothing, pushing it to stray from the great commission.
Anyone can say whatever they like, or believe whatever they choose: there are faithful Christians in the church of God whose Christianity works for them. The news against the church may be much but there are those truly serving the Lord with fear.
Christ did not come into the world to feed five thousand people and the feeding of five thousand was a not a poverty eradication strategy. He had compassion and showed love as He pursued His mission.
Free missionary schools too helped the mission of those who wanted to spread the gospel. Welfare in Christianity is love but the target is also salvation.
[John 4:36, And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.]
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