False gospels, poverty and justice

I don’t see his face. I know he is wearing a blue shirt and shorts, I guess he is about 10 or 12 and I think he is thin. Why do I know so little about him?  Because he is just in the edge of my vision. I am walking quickly out of the shopping mall amidst a cloud of boys.  They are asking for dinero (money). I am feeling stressed – are these guys genuine or were they sent out to beg by gang leaders? Or is that just my excuse not to stop, to give, to get involved? He isn’t asking for money, just lying on the floor, perhaps the poorest of them all. I don’t know.

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How big are your prayers?

I found it hard to fully relax the first time that I travelled in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The streets of Bukavu were full of brightly dressed women buying and selling but every time I looked at the surrounding hills I felt unsafe. Rebel militias could strike at any time. One warlord in particular stood out. General Nkunda had an eagle-topped cane and a brutal reputation. His militia were highly effective fighters and so when he threatened to march on the capital Kinshasa and take over the government it was no idle threat.

But, in his pride, he had forgotten that ‘the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to whoever he wishes’ (Daniel 4v17).

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