Lent 2013 first entry- issues with almsgiving

 “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” Romans 8:13

This lent has been a bit of a struggle as it is supposed to be. (of course I took my own advise ). Prayer and fasting have been going alright, but with almsgiving there is a bit of a problem. I’m unsure of where to give the alms. I tend to picture almsgiving as actually physically giving alms to someone in need.

I live in the country, and have my whole life, which means my experience with the ‘needy’ is somewhat limited. The times when I’ve been in cities and encountered beggars were confusing, I really didn’t know what to think or do. Impoverished rural people don’t generally walk up to you and ask for money. It’s a different sort of culture which I won’t go into detail about right now.

So the silly romantic idea of putting alms in the hand of a beggar doesn’t apply to me, and it’s probably good to realise that it is a romantic idea and let go of it.

But that leaves me with the question of where/to who do I give alms. There is in fact quite a bit of poverty here, thanks to our Democratic overlords in NYC who have such a (sarcasm alert) profound understanding of the needs of an economy based on agriculture and manufacturing (I live in western NY state,) but enough of politics, besides I need to forgive my enemy’s.

I already contribute to my local food bank, should I give more?

Heres the thing, what passes for poverty in the US is rather insignificant. Even the most impoverished American isn’t likely to starve to death. So I’m thinking I should give my alms to someplace internationally. I’m open to suggestions if anyone has them.

Of course I would like to know the funds actually get to the people who need them.

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