America. Streets paved with gold. Right? The perfect place to be. Right? Wrong. There is so much poverty in our country alone, it really does make me feel like my heart is shattered whenever I think about it. If there is this much hurt in America, this much poverty, this much pain, what must it be like in those third world countries that are much worse off than the people in our own country? Recently, through a ministry I learned what real poverty is. Clean water is available to most of us like the air we breathe. Little children in other countries walk miles to find a water source. Most of us can open our refridgerators and pantries and be faced with options. Milk, or lemonade,pretzels or chips? While in third world countries, children are scrounging through garbage and crawling along the ground, searching for ants...ANTS. These almost microscopic creatures are what some people rely on to fill their bellies. Statistics continue to shock me. "A typical American taking a 5 minute shower is using more water than someone in a third world country uses in a whole day." "Every 7 seconds, a child dies of starvation." "1/3 of the world is well fed, 1/3 is underfed, and 1/3 is starving." "There really IS enough food in the world to feed everyone," how we choose to use it is what results in problems. This article isn't to make people feel bad about eating nutritious meals. It's great that we have these resources, and we should continue to use them and be thankful for them! You can't send your dinner overseas, so be thankful you have it. It's great that we have clothes to wear and a house and food to eat. This isn't to make you feel guilty for owning nice things and having things available for you. It's to open eyes. My eyes were opened when I saw examples of things that people in Haiti eat. Flour mixed with mud to make cakes. This shows me that when your hungry, you will eat anything. Think of how our stomachs grumble when we haven't eaten anything for awhile. They hurt. I can't even begin to imagine how my stomach would hurt if I was emaciated and malnourished and hadn't eaten in a week. My eyes were also opened when I ate a meal that people in third world countries would eat if they were lucky. Ministries bring rice and beans to third world countries to share with the starving. There are so many people. A van belonging to this ministry drpve to a pavilion in Haiti and literally 1000 people or more flocked after this van on a pursuit for this food. Since there are SO many in need, only a little bit can go to each person, and they will probably have to share with their family for a week. A little bit of rice and beans at the bottom of a bowl is what they should share with their family for 7 days. This would be a LUXURY for them. Again, it breaks my heart and truly opens my eyes to the pain and poverty not only in America, but in Haiti, and other third world countries. Again, this article honestly wasn't meant for you to go home crying and feeling guilty for eating and having a pantry full of good food. This is to open your eyes. You can sponsor children, donate money, go on mission trips. There are several ways to help, but you don't have to give up your own nutrition to do so. I hope this article helped open your eyes to what real poverty is. I didn't know until this ministry taught me. It doesn't necessarily have to be anyone thousands of miles away. You can look out for underprivelged families in your community, maybe put together a meal or have your church collect for them. Just being a friend is one of the best comforts. So keep your eyes open, so you can help the people that need you the most.